All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Goat Hopper

Justin Time
2013

buy
The Gift Of Purpose

The Gift Of Purpose

Cuneiform Records
2010

buy
Dune

Dune

Moonjune Records
2008

buy
Numero D'Vol

Numero D'Vol

Moonjune Records
2007

buy
Hopper Tunity Box

Hopper Tunity Box

Cuneiform Records
2007

buy
Meccano Pelorus

Meccano Pelorus

Cuneiform Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics CD/LP/Track Review
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Invisible Atlas CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Blue Dreams CD/LP/Track Review
Blue Dreams
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Inspired by Nature" CD/LP/Track Review Inspired by Nature
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Promethean" CD/LP/Track Review Promethean
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Flesh & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "White" CD/LP/Track Review White
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "The Other Side of Time" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Side of Time
by Kevin Press
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Little Giant Still Life" CD/LP/Track Review Little Giant Still Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 15, 2017