Sunday, December 14, 2008

The stunning, the beautiful, the incomperable, Jamaica

Hooker 99 and friends

About 99 hooker

Despite a defining high school moment as the guy who makes dying whale sounds during a Kill the Whales - teenage punk band Meltdown (really) - and after being kicked out of the school jazz band due to a pharmaceutical mix-up, 99 Hooker needed to be reawakened to the saxophone by college mentor David Krakauer. Somewhere in there he took lessons from Matt Darriau at the New England Conservatory of Music, attended John Cage's Norton lectures at Harvard, and released a self-produced cassettes and videos including Das Luv Boat - a mix of pornography, black face and The Love Boat, which resulted in his being blacklisted from his alma maters AV department, which he had mistakenly thanked. He moved west, and had a few stints at Fredrick's of Hollywood, LACMA and an L.A. Guns video before heading south.

After a year in Mexico, Hooker found himself in San Francisco amid a burgeoning noise scene where he would play with numerous musicians. Here, 99 was recognized as the Bay Area's most ferocious saxophonist (SF Weekly). Hooker also founded Casio Shack, a live street sampling quartet that hounded the drum circle hippies with cascades of the other white noise. Still in San Francisco, 99 studied saxophone and composition with Glenn Spearman (Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons) and toured both Europe and the US with Happy New Year (Megaphone). Then came Bible Launcher. San Francisco was also where 99 Hooker first began working with video master Benton C-Bainbridge and his multi-media ensemble Lord Knows Compost.

Moving to NY in 1998, he assembled 99 Hooker's Generica (Donald Miller, Borbetomagus; M2, Mecury Rev, Chemical Brothers). The long delayed CD of intense genre bending was released in 2005 (Francois Couture, All Music. PAX Recording 2005). In New York Hooker recorded and toured with laptop wizard Akio Mokuno.

In New York, Hooker would stumble into a Unity Gain event to realize that structured improvisation with media was his calling, his Folk Form, his Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. In 2000 rev.99 was born as a multi-media collective. Various configurations of rev.99 have performed at stages big and small including a series at Bowery Poetry Club and the opening of the Smithsonian's Image & Sound at the Hirshhorn, cable TV, schools, squats, apartments and museums. Their work has been featured in Not Still Art, Dallas Video Festival, Synesthesia (Walter Reade) and numerous international venues.

Since moving to New York, 99 Hooker has maintained a bi-coastal life including an iteration of rev.99 including Thomas Scandura, Ernesto Diaz-Infant, Jessie Quatro, LX Rudis, Rent Romas, and Thollem McDonas.

In addition to his work with rev.99, Hooker continues to perform and record separately including recently David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness Bubbemisisis (