William Hooker (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Hooker
Born (1946-06-18) June 18, 1946 (age 77)
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
GenresJazz, free jazz

William Hooker (born June 18, 1946) is an American drummer and composer.

Early life and education[edit]

Hooker was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on June 18, 1946.[1] He began to play the drums at the age of 12.[1] In high school, he played in a rock band, then switched to jazz.[1] After graduating from Central Connecticut College, Hooker moved to California and became interested in free jazz.[1]


Hooker moved to New York City in the mid-1970s and was part of the loft jazz scene, playing with musicians such as saxophonists David Murray and David S. Ware.[1] His first recording as a leader was in 1976.[1] His music was too radical to be commercially successful, and Hooker took other jobs to earn a living.[1] This changed after he received praise for a 1988 recording, and he made frequent appearances at the Knitting Factory from early the following decade.[1] Hooker was a founding member of the Text of Light, a musician's collective that released seven albums between 2004 and 2010.[2]

Hooker has led several bands, including a drums–trumpet–saxophone trio and an organ trio.[1] They usually do not feature a bass, "because of the intensity and volume of his drumming".[1] He has also been the drummer in duos with guitarists, including Elliott Sharp and Thurston Moore.[1] Hooker's playing and recordings have embraced a wide range and combination of musics, including free jazz, noise rock, electronics, contemporary classical, and experimental electronic.[2]

The Down Beat reviewer of Hooker's Symphonie Of Flowers album wrote "Hooker uses history to enliven a suite of music that bounds through subgenres and percussive ideas".[3]

"He is an elemental drummer of considerable force, equally at home in free-form jazz and avant-garde rock circles; he also experiments with electronics and turntables".[1]


  • ...Is Eternal Life (Reality Unit Concepts 1977) - featuring David Murray, Mark Miller, David S. Ware, Hasaan Dawkins, and Les Goodson
  • Brighter Lights (Reality Unit Concepts 1986)
  • Lifeline (Silkheart Records 1988) - William Hooker Quartet featuring Alan Michael, Claude Lawrence, William Parker, Mark Hennen, Charles Compo, Masahiko Kono
  • The Firmament Fury (Silkheart 1989) - William Hooker Ensemble featuring Claude Lawrence, Charles Compo, Masahiko Kono, Donald Miller
  • Shamballa: Duets with Thurston Moore and Elliott Sharp (Knitting Factory Works 1993)
  • Envisioning (Knitting Factory Works 1994) - William Hooker and Lee Ranaldo
  • Radiation (Positive Music 1994) - featuring Donald Miller, Brian Doherty, Charles Compo, Masahiko Kono
  • Armageddon (Homestead 1995)
  • Gift of Tongues (1995) - featuring Lee Ranaldo and Zeena Parkins
  • Joy (Within)! (Silkheart 1996) - William Hooker - Billy Bang Duo
  • Heat of the Light (Dream Sequences) (Rabid God Inoculator 1996) - Solo
  • Tibet (Ummo 1996) - featuring Mark Hennen, Charles Compo, Donald Miller
  • Mindfulness (Knitting Factory Works 1997) - featuring DJ Olive and Glenn Spearman
  • The Distance Between Us (Knitting Factory Works 1999)
  • Bouquet: Live at the Knitting Factory 4.23.99 (Knitting Factory Works 2000) - Christian Marclay and Lee Ranaldo
  • Hard Time (Squealer 2001) - featuring Jesse Henry, Richard Keene, Donald Miller, Doug Walker
  • Black Mask (Knitting Factory Works 2002) - Duets with Andrea Parkins, Jason Hwang, Roy Nathanson
  • Out Trios, Vol. 1: Monsoon (Atavistic 2003) - featuring Roger Miller and Lee Ranaldo
  • Yearn for Certainty (2010) - featuring Sabir Mateen and Dave Soldier
  • Crossing Points (2011) - featuring Thomas Chapin
  • William Hooker Duo featuring Mark Hennen (2012)
  • A Postcard From the Road (2012) - featuring Edward Ricart and Dave Ross
  • Channels of Consciousness (2012) - featuring Adam Lane, Dave Ross, Chris DiMeglio, and Sanga
  • Heart of the Sun (2013) - featuring Roy Campbell and Dave Soldier
  • Red (Atypeek Music 2015) - William Hooker Quartet featuring Matt Lavelle, Mark Hennen, Larry Roland and William Hooker
  • Aria (Multatta Records 2016) - featuring Dave Soldier, On Davis, Mark Hennan, Richard Keene, and Louie Belogenis
  • Pillars ... at the Portal (Multatta Records 2018) – featuring Jon Irabagon, James Brandon Lewis, Luke Stewart, and Anthony Pirog[4]
  • Remembering (Astral Spirits 2018) - William Hooker Trio featuring Ava Mendoza and Damon Smith
  • Symphonie of Flowers (ORG Music, 2019)
  • Cycle of Restoration (2019) - featuring Mark Kirschenmann and Joel Peterson
  • Full On! (2019) - Duos with Mark Kirschenmann, featuring guest Marcus Elliot
  • Nels Cline, Alan Licht & William Hooker Live (2020)
  • Flesh And Bones (ORG Music, 2023) [5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Adams, Simon (2003), "Hooker, William", Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J593400, ISBN 9781561592630, retrieved March 30, 2020
  2. ^ a b Bush, Nathan. "William Hooker". AllMusic. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Cantor, Dave (December 2019). "William Hooker: Symphonie of Flowers". Down Beat. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "William Hooker: Pillars... At the Portal". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  5. ^ https://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/133449

External links[edit]