William Hooker & DJ Olive with Jim O'Rourke | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

William Hooker & DJ Olive with Jim O'Rourke 

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WILLIAM HOOKER & DJ OLIVE WITH JIM O'ROURKE

Drummer William Hooker is a maverick whose willingness to cross genre boundaries has taken him beyond even the considerably expansive free-jazz environs of his first recordings. His 1978 debut featured saxophonists David S. Ware and David Murray, but more recent collaborators have included guitarists from Sonic Youth and the noise band Borbetomagus. Sometimes Hooker is too much for the staunchest rockers--his visceral, volcanic energy rolls right over them. But he's met his match in DJ Olive, a player who doesn't bother trying to meet him head-on. Instead Olive's heavily treated cricket chirps, synthetic whooshes, environmental recordings, alien scratching, and strategically deployed blasts of pure noise flow around the drummer's onslaught like the ocean around great gnarled cliffs. The calm of his accompaniment resonates with the celebrations of peace in the poetry that Hooker sometimes recites. On tour the duo keeps things spontaneous by having local players sit in. Saxophonist Glenn Spearman's knotted fulminations push Hooker and Olive close to free jazz on their Mindfulness (Knitting Factory), but it's anyone's guess how multi-instrumentalist Jim O'Rourke will influence this evening's proceedings. Make a point to show up early for openers Godspeed You Black Emperor, an enigmatic Canadian ensemble whose self-titled debut LP sounds like Savage Republic conducted by Charalambides. Storm & Stress also plays. Friday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620. BILL MEYER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited William Hooker photo.

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