Cycle of Restoration by William Hooker; Bandcamp Link: Cycle of Restoration
I’ve listened to William Hooker before, but never too closely. I do know he is a improvising drummer who often works with musicians outside of the Free Jazz/Improvisation scene.
This is a live recording of a trio, (William Hooker, Drums; Mark Kirschenmann, Trumpet; and Joel Peterson, bass,) recorded in Detroit, Michigan, spring 2018.
Initially, I was listening, and beyond Mr Hooker on drums, I was at a loss for what the other instruments were. My first impression was that it was a group that contained at least synthesizer, drums, and bass.
After listening for a couple days, I was actually pretty surprised to look at the bandcamp page and realize Mr Kirschenmann was playing a heavily effect laden trumpet. (If you’re a gear head, at the very least, he is playing with a flanger, delay, and some sort of multi-pitch shifting choir type effect. Probably some sort of distortion, too, and a volume pedal.)
The album starts very spare, with a lot of time between notes and no real interaction between the players.
It picks up a bit briefly around the 20 minute mark, but then returns languidity for the slow fade out.
While the drums and bass are not far from idiomatic free jazz expression, the trumpet is more in the pop/art/ambient realm. When it is recognizable as a trumpet, not far from Jon Hassell.
The whole thing is more like ambient space jazz, than what normally passes for free or energy jazz/improvisation.
In fact, the album that came most to mind while listening was Tangerine Dream’s first album, “Electronic Meditation,” except maybe played at about half speed.
Is that good or bad?
I just don’t know.
It’s not really my bag, I found myself impatient with its slow pace of development a lot of the time, but it might be yours.
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