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January/February 2001

William Hooker/Christian Marclay/Lee Ranaldo
Bouquet
Knitting Factory

William Hooker, Christian Marclay and Ranaldo find a cheery inspiration for their recording and title: one of the three musicians had just gotten married the day previous to the set, though which one isn't entirely clear. Most brides get stiffed with a tropical vacation and a Cuisinart, but this lucky girl got Bouquet, a 54-minute, unbroken but surprisingly delicate group improv, complete with dead flowers cover art. In this type of setting, turntablist Marclay (perhaps the blushing groom) offers a much greater textural range than Shoup: his vinyl manipulation doesn't dominate the proceedings so much as define them. Hooker, a drummer famous for swamping his collaborators, seems to sincerely buy into the ambientlike atmosphere. More often than not, his drumming ties the music together and keeps it moving along. Both he and Ranaldo contribute judiciously to an attractive group sound-concept. What more could a girl ask for?

Originally published in January/February 2001
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