Dharma documents a 2004 performance at CBGB’s by two of New York’s finest “free jazz” players. Blowing both hot and cold, the forty-odd minute performance shows a relentless energy and creativity on the part of both musicians as they work through a broad range of sounds and textures.
WILLIAM HOOKER has long been recognized as one of the great free jazz drummers, although he has never been limited by that description. From his first recording, Is Eternal Life with David Murray and David S. Ware to his more recent work with Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore and DJ Olive, Hooker has been neither afraid to stretch boundaries or compromise his own vision. Hooker’s national profile was raised most considerably by a string of more jazz-oriented releases on the Knitting Factory label in the 1990s and with Dharma, Hooker returns to that space, all the while maintaining the fiery intensity that has defined his playing over the past forty years.
Multi-reedist SABIR MATEEN got his start playing with Horace Tapscott in the Pan-Afrikan People’s Orchestra. In the nearly thirty years since, he has played with panoply of jazz luminaries including Cecil Taylor, Butch Morris and in perhaps his best-known association, William Parker. Within the last decade, Mateen’s work in duo and small groups with the legendary Sunny Murray (presented on record by Eremite) have showed him to be one of the best reed players in existence in establishing a copasetic dialogue with a drummer, and Dharma is no exception as Sabir shows himself to be more than ready to trade musical barbs with Hooker.