William Hooker and Thomas Chapin | Crossing Points | No Business Records

William Hooker – drums | Thomas Chapin – sax

Recorded at 9th str Gallery, New York City on 30th May, 1992 * Music written by William Hooker and published under BMI (WILLIAM HOOKER MUSIC) * Mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios. Cover design by Oskaras Anosovas. Producer Danas Mikailionis * Co-producer – Valerij Anosov

Tracklist LP: Side A The Subway (Part 1) Side B: The Subway (Part 2) Side C: Addiction to Sound Side D: The Underground Dead

Tracklist CD: 1. The Subway 28‘40“ 2. Addiction to Sound 23‘06“ 3. The Underground Dead 19‘05“

William Hooker and Thomas Chapin | Crossing Points | no business records

This is a monster duo!

One of the greatest duo events of all time. There were a series of weekly duo encounters with William Hooker and different saxists at Jerome Cooper’s loft during the summer in the early nineties. I caught two of these with Louie Belogenis and Thomas Chapin and both were incredible. I recall that Louie and Thomas were pushed even further than usual by William’s colossal drumming. Both Louie & Thomas mentioned that William made them dig deep into their souls for two sets each to come up with enough ideas to last through these two encounters. This recording captures the night with Thomas Chapin and William Hooker in all their glory… Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

William Hooker and Thomas Chapin | Crossing Points | no business records

Multi-instrumentalist Thomas Chapin

was one of my guiding lights when I started getting into jazz really heavily in the 1990’s. His Knitting Factory releases are all stellar, and he could play anything from swing to bop to free, but was possibly at his best when combining all genres or dispensing with the notion of genre entirely. This duet album finds him in the company of master drummer William Hooker for a two man blast off into the cosmos. Make no mistake, this is energy music on an Interstellar Space level. Hooker and Chapin are a match made in free-jazz heaven and frequently encourage each other during this performance with shouts of joy. The opening epic “The Subway” builds to torrid fire music with the saxophone (Chapin sticks to saxophone throughout) right up front and the drums a little distant but no less powerful. Intensely emotional collective improvisation is dominated by scalding saxophone and explosive drumming. Midway through, the music becomes lighter and more ominous as if dark clouds were gathering on the horizon. Sure enough the downpour comes in the form of molten howls of saxophone and cacophonous drumming. “Addiction to Sound” finds Hooker developing a nice rhythm with comparability gentle saxophone that probe the edges of space and time. Spacious saxophone bleats and honks develop through a building rhythm, developing heat and tension. The finale, “The Underground Dead” brings it all together with a mind-meld of duo improvisation that must be heard to be believed, sounding like the most intense yet heartfelt music imaginable. They slow things down to a simmer as a recitation or incantation is read and then it is over. Cathartic beauty for the heart and soul at its finest and an absolute must for those who explore the edges of jazz and improvisation. — Tim Niland

It is May 30, 1992. New York.

William Hooker plays drums. Thomas Chapin plays sax. They meet. All hell breaks loose. For seventy-one minutes. No holds barred. No limits. Just exploring. Just interacting. Just enjoying. Volume. Pulse. Speed. Power. Power. Energy. Anger. Depth. Scope. Lyricism. Sensitivity. Rawness. Rebels. Innovators. Ayler. Coltrane. Rashied Ali. Elvin Jones. Billy Higgins. Spirituality. Authenticity. Honesty. Integrity. Reality. Humanity. Energy. Freedom. Optimism. The creative force. Life. — Stef

 

Double LP version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 38.00
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CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 15.00
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3 thoughts on “William Hooker and Thomas Chapin | Crossing Points | No Business Records

  1. Crossing Points est l’enregistrement d’un concert donné en 1992 par William Hooker et Thomas Chapin à la 9th Street Gallery de New York (gérance : Jerome Cooper). De quoi remplir quatre faces de 33 tours (NoBusiness publiant néanmoins le même enregistrement sur CD) : The Subway sur les deux premières, Addiction to Sound et The Underground Dead sur les deux autres.

    On sait la véhémence qui anime Hooker : efficiente en lofts d’abord mais consignée sur disques bien plus tard. On sait aussi le manque de Chapin, saxophoniste abrasif instruit par Jackie McLean. Ainsi les musiciens étaient faits pour s’entendre. Dans l’urgence, ils lancent The Subway : la frappe est détonante et pique Chapin au vif, qui, en réaction, déclame et développe hors d’haleine un expressionnisme cursif d’une rare teneur.

    En tremblant encore, Hooker et Chapin sonnent l’heure d’une confrontation nette, quelques tambours martiaux ayant bien vite chassé la valse défaite qui ouvre Addiction to Sound. L’attachement du duo au free jazz des origines est patent, mais l’originalité qu’il parvient à glisser au creux de ses références étonne. Comme un retard qu’il faudrait rattraper : le retour-arrière effectué à vitesse effrénée : les trente ans de retard d’Addiction to Sound et The Underground Dead changés alors en décalage de peu, voire de rien. A tel point que Crossing Points, enregistré il a y près d’une dizaine d’années, en deviendrait une référence d’un free jazz qu’on réactualise sans cesse – plus souvent « mal » que « bien », redisons-le.

  2. Thomas Chapin’s death from leukemia at the age of 40 is one of the most tragic twists in jazz history (and jazz history has its share of those – where would Coltrane be or Clifford Brown if they were to live longer?). This post-mortem release comes as unexpected but tremendously welcomed surprise for all the fans of this musician and presents him outside the common setting of his trio as he features on one concert of a series of duos played by William Hooker in NYC in 1992.

    “Subway” is a 28mins long marathon, Hooker’s colossal, muscular drumming keeps the charge, relentless and restless, while Chapin tries to keep up with fresh ideas and harden the tone. It is bit exhausting in the middle but they surge back with great energy in the end, although I feel that Hooker is overpowering the music a little bit.

    “Addiction to Sound” (just 23 mins) starts with William playing hand drums and gets kicking off out of this tribal premise, powerfull yet light, with Thomas dancing and jumping all over the beats and drumrolls as they gather speed and energy. I feel Thomas is much more at home when allowed a more playfull and joyfull approach and this piece is for me the moment when they truly find the common language.

    “The Underground Dead” clocks 19 minutes to fill nicely the cd’s space capacity (for lp afficionados NoBusiness prepared also a double LP version) . It starts with a lightly syncopated pattern on plates, joined early by colourfull saxophone scale flights and then goes freewheelingly in all directions expanding on the “Addiction to Sound”‘s approach, passionate and joyfull ride, humorous even (with Roland Kirk-like whistles, saxophone cries and shouts of excitement all over) with just a right amount of power and screaming madness till somewhere in the middle Thomas breaks into this peacefull, uplifting song, with delicate, elevated melody, with William building the momento up on toms, until the final breakdown and purifying explosion.

    While I find the first track bit mono-dimensional, the latter two present music that is incredibly rich, driven by a common passion for freedom and adventure. Not necessarily a best point of introduction to Thomas Chapin’s legacy, but a great gift for all of his fans, the fans of William Hooker, fans of sax-drums duos (count me in) and free and uninhibited musical immagination and creativity. Many thanks to NoBusiness records for finding this hidden registration and putting it out there for all of us.

  3. After his well-received Earth’s Orbit (No Business Records, 2010), drummer/composer William Hooker raids the archives for Crossing Points, drawn from a 1992 New York City date with saxophonist Thomas Chapin. The drummer has straddled the free jazz and noise camps, but here almost merges the two in a 76-minute program where the energy levels barely move out of the red. Chapin, whose early death from leukemia in 1998, at the age of 40, thwarted a career that sought to gloriously integrate downtown experimentalism into the mainstream, digs deep just to hold on.

    Hooker is elemental, a roaring undertow full of controlled power. Once again he demonstrates his facility at sustained long form invention, lending the three improvisations the feel of spontaneous composition. In response the saxophonist alternates repeated motifs extended into yapping over-blowing, with slower melodic passages which take on a majestic grandeur as a result of the contrast.

    Appropriately perhaps, “The Subway” initially suggests the white noise of an approaching train, until the sound slowly comes into focus as a saxophone drone and continuous drum roll. It’s an uncompromising start, but one that sets the template for this set. They don’t come up for air until 15 minutes in, when the pressure eases off slightly and Chapin’s soaring alto reaches escape velocity to break clear of Hooker’s gravitational pull.

    An incremental opening to “Addiction to Sound” evinces more open textures with Hooker rhythmically striking a tambourine accompanied by what resembles a trumpeting elephant, but which the liner notes explain as Chapin blowing onto his reed from underneath. The resultant ritual pulse inspires a slow burning reaction from the reed man as their journey continues. Pitched midway between the two previous cuts in terms of density, “The Underground Dead” includes an astonishing passage of vocalized saxophone invective from Chapin, before an attractive elegiac section for somber alto and Hooker’s rolling mallet work.

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