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Hall Ranaldo Hooker: Hall Ranaldo Hooker: Oasis of Whispers

Alien8 Recordings presents “Oasis Of Whispers”: a journey in free improv performed by a trio comprised of Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) on guitar, audio collages and effects, free jazz legend William Hooker on drums, and multi-instrumentalist Glen Hall on tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, piccolo, bass flute, bass clarinet, and percussion. The set was performed live at the Tralfamadore in Buffalo, NY in September of 2001 and represents the first recorded document by this formidable unit.

The 9 tracks cover a wide variety of styles ranging from more traditional bop to full-on psychedelic freak-outs. Their fine take on the Sonny Rollins classic “Blue Seven” is one of many highlights. Glen Hall lays down some tasteful yet challenging tenor riffs that slink through the barbed wire and broken glass of Lee Ranaldo’s guitar textures. Hooker hijacks Max Roach’s original blueprint and goes on an interstellar journey of his own, inventing a few new time signatures along the way.

The opening track “The Mechanism” spotlights a feisty battle between all the players. Ranaldo’s growling guitar, Hall’s sax skronk, and Hooker’s holy racket strive to stay afloat in a sonic sludge of their own making. The monumental “Conference Call” is just that indeed. A summit meeting of exotic birds, insane ranting, snippets of overheard conversations, travel plans, samples, poetry, soaring flute, squabbling sax, clanging guitar, and frantic percussion. It is “tuned to all frequencies of the world” and is reminiscent of Byrne and Eno’s “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts” in its attempts to harness the tumult of mass media and world communication like a radio receiver gone awry. “Sonarisme” conveys a deep sea vibe with Hall’s sax riffs cascading and tumbling into murky waters. Effects and feedback echo throughout the dissonance and Hooker sounds like he’s either speaking in tongues or exorcising ghosts. His playing is especially rich and complex here. “View From Belvue” with it’s otherworldly atmospheres provides a neat segue to the penultimate and title track “Oasis Of Whispers”. Here the trio conjures up a dream-like ambience with queasy electronics, and minimal rhythms. Ranaldo’s strumming recalls Morricone’s work on Sergio Leone westerns, while Hall’s flute brings a distinct Middle Eastern feel to the affair. The final rave-up “Blow” is a brief and kinetic closer that does feature some fine blowing and working out. A last outcry from this spirited combo.

Lee Ranaldo and William Hooker have collaborated previously on several excellent recordings, most notably in other trios in which both Christian Marclay and Zeena Parkins have been featured as the third member. Glen Hall is a Canadian musician who has been on the scene for quite some time. He is most renowned for his William S. Burroughs inspired album entitled “Hallucinations”. He has also worked with such jazz luminaries as Gil Evans, Roswell Rudd, and Sabir Mateen. The trio plans to tour the festival circuit in support of this release.

Release date: November 01, 2005

Label: Alien8 Recordings

Album cover for Hall Ranaldo Hooker: Oasis of Whispers by Hall Ranaldo Hooker
Downloadable/Playable Tracks
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1 The Mechanism 7:38 $0.99
2 Eyemote 3:05 $0.99
3 Blue Seven 5:05 $0.99
4 Conference Call 16:35 $1.99
5 H2 1:12 $0.99
6 Sonarisme 2:08 $0.99
7 View From Bellevue 6:39 $0.99
8 Oasis Of Whispers 6:48 $0.99
9 Blow 3:16 $0.99
Full Downloadable Album 52:26 $4.99
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