The Subway (Part 1)
The Subway (Part 2)
Addiction to Sound
The Underground Dead
Thomas Chapin - Saxophone
William Hooker - Drums
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
NoBusiness Records NBLP30-31, 2011, limited edition of 500 records
Liner Notes (excerpt)
by Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Recorded at 9th St Gallery, New York City on 30th May, 1992. Featuring Thomas Chapin on alto sax and William Hooker on drums. This double album or single CD captures the night with Thomas Chapin and William Hooker in all of their glory. Three long pieces clocking in at 71+ minutes. ‘Addiction to Sound’ begins inauspiciously with William on tambourine and Thomas blowing into his reed from underneath so that it sounds more like brass instrument. This is a playful introduction that takes a while to move into a more intense section when William switches to his drum set. Both men are listening and building on each other's notes and grooves. William punctuates certain lines with his voice (shouting) while Thomas spins notes over and over, varying them with William's percussive shifts. William is a master of the mallets and sounds wonderful pounding out his enticing beats on the drums and cymbals. It is a joyous sound of two warriors dancing together around the flames of life. The exchange goes back and forth, building higher & higher, the two spirits ascending into the stratosphere.
There is an obvious deep connection between these two spirit forces.Thomas centers in on these fractured lines, repeating them and then twisting them into different shapes. Williams shadows these lines perfectly, burning and blurring the lines between the two men. When William finally slow down it turns into a sort of Native-American ritualistic rhythm bringing in an introspective section which doesn't last very long but feels just right before they launch into another flurry of activity. The development of themes and pace of each section seems pre-planned at times although I am sure this wasn't the case. It is just the magic of master improvisers that makes this music cosmic and ultimately transcendent.
The sad news is that Thomas Chapin passed away just a few years later in 1998 at the early age of forty, sadly succumbing to leukemia. His music career was still ascending and he was in the midst of achieving international recognition. The good news that this disc captures both Thomas Chapin and William Hooker at their height. This is only one aspect of what Thomas Chapin did best. His early nickname was ‘Rage’ and you can hear why on this disc.
As his music diversified and expanded, this became an unnecessary tag. Thomas, you touched many of us when you were with us on this plain. It is now time to for this record to reach out and touch even more of those willing to listen...
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
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…
Tim Niland, Music and More
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.
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz Blog
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.
Grego Edwards, GAPPLEGATE MUSIC REVIEW
I have a friend who is dedicated to the music. He prides himself on NOT being a collector, of not making a fetish out of owning thousands upon thousands of recordings to line up in long rows and nod knowingly about the music when guests arrive. “Yes, you see I own all this music, so you know that I know all about it." He doesn't imply that. He rejects it. He is in the music for the music. Yet his likes and dislikes are a matter of importance to him. Great importance. One day he told me, “You know, I've had enough of William Hooker." And that was that. I never got a bead on exactly why he'd had enough. And that's his business. Fact is, William Hooker is a drummer who does not hang back. He is a mainstay in the school of bash and burn. He lets fly and he does it in ways that are very free, varied, and if you don't respond to the style, very in-your-face.
I happen to be someone who's liked out-front drummers all throughout my experience of the music. They bring energy to the gig, they bring fire, they cajole soloists onward to things they might not do otherwise. Sure, there are other ways of playing. But for those dates where I detect a kind of suppression of the drummer and his dynamic, I feel uneasy. Anyway I bring my friend up as someone who may not always go in for the bashing sort of drumming. And that's fine.
And so we segue to the music today, a two-LP or one-CD offering featuring the late Thomas Chapin (mostly on alto) intersecting with William Hooker on a long duet. Crossing Points (No Business NBCD 28) shows a side of the late master Thomas Chapin that you saw less of in his own group's recordings: the possessed, supercharged, fire-breathing energy man.
This is a very free session and shows that plenty of synergy was going on on the bandstand that night in 1992. It's a tour de force honk out. You can get it for how it looks lined up with all your other CDs. Or you can get it for the music. Either way, it will be a good addition. I would recommend this as MUSIC more than room furnishings. But music like this needs your support whether you are listening to it or just collecting it. You are a great help to the small labels and avant artists trying to survive today if you BUY this. So get with that if you will.