Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

219

Hugh Hopper: Numero D'Vol

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Legendary British bassist Hugh Hopper steps aside from his duties with Soft Machine Legacy to further his solo career, spanning back to the 1970s during those astounding Canterbury progressive-rock years. Unlike previous endeavors, the bassist integrates elements of the avant modern British jazz scene, largely due to the performance of estimable saxophonist Simon Picard. And speaking of legends, what a welcome surprise to hear drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Massacre) driving the often-pulsating back-beats. Hopper sports his somewhat patented monster-fuzz bass lines where required, where the progressive-jazz element is transparently fused into a distinct, group sound and scope.

On the opening title track, Hayward lays down the heartbeat with his bass drum, while keyboardist Steve Franklin's synth swashes prime the stage for a somewhat ominous motif, expanded upon by Picard's mood-evoking tenor sax choruses. Listening to this pristinely recorded endeavor yields numerous rewards, evidenced by Hayward's use of timber via his delicate cymbals accents that complement Franklin's swirling keys, providing spatial parameters that add to the album's aura. In various regions of the disc, the quartet surges through haunting dreamscapes, featuring Picard's howling cries and the leader's booming and limber lines. Yet a good portion of this set is framed within variable rock pulses and a few free-form meltdowns.

The musicians generate quirky, off-kilter passages amid Hopper's thumping bass patterns that frequently underline or, perhaps, spawn an expansive musical vista. On "Bootz, the band sports a loose-groove funk gait, driven home by Picard's darting choruses and counterbalanced by Franklin's counterbalancing piano phrasings. The quartet is apt to go for the proverbial jugular with punishing licks, but one of the many highlights pertains to Franklin's mock-Jerry Lee Lewis rock and roll chord pattern on the uncanny but endearing "Shovelfeet.

Like the dawn of day, the album instills a sense of newness and hope for the tried and true stylizations of the jazz-rock idiom. Then again, rigid categorizations are unnecessary and would simply be an exercise in futility, although we've come to expect this higher realm of artistry and innovation from Hopper.


Track Listing: Numero D'Vol; On The Spot; Earwigs Enter; Free Bee; Get That Tap; Bootz; Shovelfeet; Bees Knees Man; Straight Away; Twilight; Some Other Time.

Personnel: Simon Picard: tenor sax; Steve Franklin: keyboards; Hugh Hopper: bass; Charles Hayward: drums.

Title: Numero D'Vol | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Moonjune Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Asian Fields Variations" CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "The Rhythm Method" CD/LP/Track Review The Rhythm Method
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "The Singles" CD/LP/Track Review The Singles
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor