Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Westbrook Trio: three into wonderfull

Read "three into wonderfull" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


The Westbrook Trio celebrates thirty years of music making with three into wonderfull, a retrospective covering the years from 1983 to 2012. Pianist and composer Mike Westbrook, vocalist Kate Westbrook and saxophonist Chris Biscoe have pursued an uncompromising path through the three decades since forming the Trio, crafting music that can be both beautiful and challenging. Mike Westbrook has long been one of the UK jazz scene's most impressive composers, working equally successfully with small ensembles and big bands

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Album Review

Refugee: Patrick Moraz / Lee Jackson / Brian Davison: Live in Concert 1974

Read "Live in Concert 1974" reviewed by John Kelman


When Keith Emerson left The Nice in 1969 to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer, bassist/vocalist Lee Jackson and drummer Brian Davison were left in a quandary. Both were capable enough, but Emerson was clearly the star of the show. Jackson's subsequent Jackson Heights achieved some cult status, but was hamstrung by average playing and writing--and Jackson's grating voice. So it was a very good thing for Jackson and Davison when they found a new wunderkind in keyboardist Patrick Moraz. With ...

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Album Review

Various Artists: Soupsongs Live: The Music of Robert Wyatt

Read "Soupsongs Live: The Music of Robert Wyatt" reviewed by John Kelman


Canterbury-associated singer/songwriter Robert Wyatt's recorded output, since an accident that left him paralysed from the waist down in the mid-1970s shut down his ability to play the conventional drum kit, is hardly what anyone would call jazz by any standard definition. But it's important to recognize that, while he was always the more song-oriented member of the classic Soft Machine line-up of the late-1960s and early-1970s, he was as jazz-informed as the rest of the group. His first solo album, ...

292

Album Review

Brian Hopper: If Ever I Am

Read "If Ever I Am" reviewed by John Kelman


British saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Hopper may not be as well-known as his brother, bassist Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine fame. He has, however, been a part of the same Canterbury scene since the '60s, when he was a member of the pre-Soft Machine collective the Wilde Flowers, along with a number of other artists who would go onto varying degrees of greater fame--future Softs members including brother Hugh, keyboardist Mike Ratledge, and drummer/singer Robert Wyatt; future Hatfield and the North and ...

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Album Review

Soft Machine: Breda Reactor

Read "Breda Reactor" reviewed by John Kelman


Breda Reactor finds British jazz-rock outfit Soft Machine in one of its many transitional stages. Between the septet that toured in late '69 and the emergence of the “classic" lineup--keyboardist Mike Ratledge, saxophonist Elton Dean, bassist Hugh Hopper, and drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt--this incarnation was augmented by saxophonist/flautist Lyn Dobson. The quintet may have only lasted three months, but Dobson possessed a strong voice, providing interesting counterpoint to the more free-spirited Dean.

Recorded a month after the Croydon show documented on ...

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Album Review

Hugh Hopper Band: Alive!

Read "Alive!" reviewed by John Kelman


Ex-Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper underwent something of a crisis of musical faith in the early '80s. Having given up music--not even touching his bass for over a year--he had taken a day gig and, aside from some writing, appeared to be giving up the arts for good. Then a Dutch Soft Machine fan, Kees Schep, met him in Canterbury, suggesting that if Hopper ever wanted to play in Holland he knew a lot of musicians with whom he could ...

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Album Review

Soft Machine: Facelift

Read "Facelift" reviewed by John Kelman


First, let's get one thing out of the way. Facelift , another in Voiceprint's ongoing series of live Soft Machine performances, comes from an audience recording by bassist Hugh Hopper's brother Brian. Not only is the quality decidedly lo-fi, but the tape machine actual slows down and speeds up on a couple of occasions, making this double-disc set absolutely for deeply committed fans only.

That being said, Facelift is yet another reason to re-examine Soft Machine within the broader context ...


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