William Hooker was born on June 18, 1946 in New Britain, Connecticut. He began his music education singing in the church choir before receiving private drum lessons from the age of 10. He training continued as he played in the Nathan Hale Junior High, New Britain High School and Central Connecticut State College bands.
Starting off playing in rock and roll bands it wasn’t until he was sixteen that he got into jazz, learning standards from an older musician who taught him the essentials of leading a band. During his college years he listened to as many records and live performances as he could, gaining a wealth of knowledge. He also was a member of an organ trio as he matriculated through college and has since performed as a leader of many ensembles in San Francisco, California and New York City, leaning towards avant-garde, improvised and new music.
He has performed or recorded with Billy Bang, Thurston Moore, David Murray, David S. Ware, William Parker, Melvin Gibbs, Donald Miller, DJ Olive, Elliott Sharp, Malachi Thompson, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, DJ Spooky, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Mark Hennen, Steven Bernstein, Roy Nathanson, Jason Hwang, Dave Soldier, Sabir Mateen, Glenn Spearman, Joseph Celli, Ellen Christi, Liudas Mockūnas, among many others.
Lauded by Downbeat, The Wire and the San Francisco Chronicle as an inspired and fluent drummer who gives long performances of consistent energy and is a kingpin of the free jazz world, drummer and composer William Hooker continues to perform, compose and record.
More Posts: drums
Ted Daniel was born June 4, 1943 in Ossining, New York and studied trumpet in elementary school. He began his professional career playing local gigs with his childhood friend, guitarist Sonny Sharrock. He briefly attended Berklee School of Music and Southern Illinois University, before a tour of duty with U.S. Army Bands. After his discharge from the Army, Daniel attended Central State College in Ohio, on a full music scholarship, where he met and studied with Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre. After a year, Daniel returned to New York City and eventually received a bachelor of music degree in theory and composition from the City College of New York.
Beginning his recording career while studying in Ohio he returned briefly to New York to record Sonny Sharrock’s first album Black Woman. His second recording was with the band Brute Force that he co-led with his brother, Richard. The recording was titled Brute Force on the Embryo label and was produced by Herbie Mann. Since then, Daniel has participated in more than 30 published recordings with such artists as: Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Andrew Cyrille, Sam Rivers, Billy Bang, Tatsuya Nakamura and Henry Threadgill.
Daniel has produced three albums under his own name: The Ted Daniel Sextet on Ujamaa Records, Tapestry on Sun Records, and In The Beginning on Altura recordings. This recording features a twelve-piece ensemble including such artist as Oliver Lake, Arthur Blythe, Charles Tyler and David Murray. Eventually this ensemble evolved into a larger group called “Energy”.
As an educator Ted has held workshops at Amherst College, Bennington College, Williams College and the University of Hosei in Tokyo, Japan. He has also conducted a seminar in Madrid, Spain, as well as work in his community conducting summer music workshops for high and college age students.
Daniel has received a NEA compositional grant, was awarded Talent Deserving Wider Recognition from Downbeat Magazine. Presently, trumpeter Ted Daniel is writing and performing with his new group, the International Brass and Membrane Corporation (IBMC).
More Posts: trumpet
Larry Ochs was born May 3, 1949 in New York City and studied trumpet briefly but concentrated on tenor and soprano saxophones. He has worked as a record producer and founded his own label, Metalanguage Records in 1978, in addition to operating the Twelve Stars studio in California.
A co-founder the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Larry worked in Glenn Spearman’s Double Trio. A frequent recipient of commissions, he composed the music for the play Goya’s L.A. in 1994 and for the film Letters Not About Love, which was named best documentary at SXSW in 1998.
He has played in a trio called Room, and the What We Live ensemble. He formed the group Kihnoua in 2007 with vocalist Dohee Lee and Scott Amendola on drums and electronics, releasing Unauthorized Caprices in 2010.
Avant-garde saxophonist Larry Ochs has released twelve albums as a leader, another twenty-three with Rova and a half dozen with Glenn Spearman, Fred Firth and Maybe Monday, dave Rempis and Darren Johnston. He has performed with Nels Cline, Gerald Cleaver, Donald Robinson, continues to perform and record.
More Posts: saxophone
Connie Crothers was born on May 2, 1941 in Palo Alto, California and began studying classical piano at age 9. She went on to major in music and composition at the University of California at Berkeley. While matriculating her teachers put less emphasis on emotional expression and more on procedure, structure and compositional rigor, which did not find a likeable place in her mind.
She subsequently became a student of pianist Lennie Tristano. After Tristano’s death in November 1978, she founded the Lennie Jazz Foundation and recorded a memorial concert album in his honor.
Her debut recording Perception was released in 1974 on the Steeplechase label. She went on to record another twenty albums as a leader over the course of her career and four as a sidewoman. In 1982 she recorded the album Swish with drummer Max Roach for New Artists Records, a label she and Roach founded. She also recorded in groups with, among others, Bud Tristano, Linda Satin, Richard Tabnik and Cameron Brown.
Pianist Connie Crothers, who mainly played in the avant-garde and free jazz genres, passed away of lung cancer in Manhattan, New York City on August 13, 2016.
More Posts: piano
Matt Lavelle was born on April 11, born 1970 in Paterson, New Jersey and began his music career with a high school big band tour of the Soviet Union in 1988. He followed this with a five-year period of study with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran who played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday and others.
During this period of study he played trumpet in Hildred’s band, then made his move on New York City and played straight-ahead jazz until 1995 when he relocated to Kingston, New York and studied the bass clarinet. Four years later Lavelle returned to New York seeking out what is known as the Downtown community. He has studied with Ornette Coleman adding alto clarinet to his instrumental arsenal.
Lavelle has played and toured with William Parker, Sabir Mateen, as well as with his own trio, an improvisation collective known as Eye Contact. He was key in the resurgence and return of avant jazz man Giuseppi Logan, helping him return to playing after a 45-year absence, and recording a new record released in spring 2010.
trumpet, flugelhorn and bass clarinet player Matt Lavelle, who has released a dozen albums as a leader or in duo and has recorded another ten as a sideman, continues to perform, record and tour.