333

Isotope: Golden Section

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Isotope: Golden Section It is with great sadness that the recent passing of electric bassist Hugh Hopper (1945-2009), one of the most original stylists on his instrument, is mourned.

Hopper is best known for his tenure in Soft Machine (part of the Canterbury scene, lumped in with progressive rockers like King Crimson and Frank Zappa, and part of the British jazz fusion world) from 1968-72, as well as later tributes such as Soft Bounds, Softworks and Soft Machine Legacy. But Hopper and his fuzz bass can also be found on a number of solo albums, including a personal favorite, Hoppertunity Box (Cuneiform, 1976). He can also be heard on sessions with former Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt and percussionist Stomu Yamash'ta, and is featured prominently in the fusion band Isotope.

Isotope began its life in 1973 with guitarist Gary Boyle, drummer Nigel Morris, bassist Jeff Clyne and keyboardist Brian Miller. For one album from late 1974, Hugh Hopper and Laurence Scott replaced Clyne and Miller respectively, before giving way to other deps for the rest of the band's short life. Cuneiform Records, always pulling out fascinating live documents from a wide array of British aggregates (including several Soft Machine discs), doubles the output of this short-lived Isotope lineup with Golden Section.

The album is compiled from several sessions: the first six tracks part of a concert from Post-Aula in Bremen, Germany in 1975 (adding percussionist Aureo de Souza); the next pair from a Spring 1975 New York studio date and the final five waxed in London in July 1974.

As with Soft Machine, all the musicians contribute material, though Boyle (unfairly, not part of the Guitar God pantheon) is the primary songwriter. Hopper fans will recognize such memorable themes as "Lily Kong" and the title track, both of which would later appear on his 1979 solo disc, Monster Band (Atmposphere).

The sound on the album ranges from good to perfect, and Hopper is in usual fine form. Isotope and colleague bands like Nucleus were still making compelling fusion documents by the time their American counterparts were already caricatures.

Track Listing: Illusion; Rangoon Creeper; Attila; Spanish Sun; Crunch Cake; Mr. M's Picture; Frog; Attila; Spanish Sun; Lily Kong; Edorian; Golden Section; Illusion.

Personnel: Gary Boyle: guitar; Hugh Hopper: bass; Nigel Morris: drums; Laurence Scott: keyboards; Aureo de Souza: percussion (1-6).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "The Whistle Blower" CD/LP/Track Review The Whistle Blower
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "This Could Be That" CD/LP/Track Review This Could Be That
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!