289

Hugh Hopper: The Gift of Purpose

Mark Redlefsen By

Sign in to view read count
Hugh Hopper: The Gift of Purpose Posthumously released under the name of late ex-Soft Machine/Soft Machine Legacy bassist Hugh Hopper, The Gift of Purpose captures a live studio performance from early 2008, featuring a trio project called Bone, along with guitarist Nick Didkovsky and drummer John Roulat. Rreleased as a benefit for Hopper's family—to which all proceeds of the sale of the disc will go—it serves as one last look back upon the playing, and compositional skills of this highly influential artist.

The music leans more towards the heavier side of the rock spectrum. The sound has more in common with the likes of 1990's groups such as Tool or Helmet, as opposed to Soft Machine, Isotope or any other past Hopper projects. Hopper's unique, heavy-bottom bass sound melds well with Didkovsky's metallic guitar riffs and Roulat's powerful drum beats. The thick, loud playing creates dense textures that build up and eventually give way to more subtle passages. Aside from some lighter chordal patterns that occur on short songs like "Green Dansette," there are longer pieces, like the aptly titled "Improvisation," where the three dig into their bag of experimental chops.

The added bonus title track was recorded in tribute to Hopper, after his passing in June, 2009. The most significant of the three additional players joining the remaining Bone members here is former Soft Machine/Gong vocalist Daevid Allen. Allen, an old friend and colleague of Hopper's, takes their history full circle as he sings with his brand of trippy lyrics and spacey whispering vocals over a swirl storm of cloudy guitar chords and saxophone for fifteen minutes.

The Gift of Purpose will most likely not be set alongside the Softs' Third (Columbia, 1970) and the bassist's own Hopper Tunity Box (Cuneiform, 1977), in the final analysis of Hopper's work. It will, however, serve as a welcome and unexpected aural snapshot of the very active, diverse, and fertile final chapter of this beloved musician's life.

Track Listing: Big Bombay; Foster Wives, Trophy Hair; Banter; Green Dansette; Improvisation; Overlife Part 2; We'll Ask the Questions Around Here, Part 2; The Gift of Purpose.

Personnel: Hugh Hopper: electric bass (1-7); Nick Didkovsky: electric guitar, full-steam lyrical filtrage (8); John Roulat: drums; Daevid Allen: full-breasted vocals, thanks be to the air (8); Yves Duboin: soprano sax (8); Colin Marston: Warr guitar (8).

Title: The Gift Of Purpose | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter...
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Think Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Think Ahead
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Jojje Wadenius (70)" CD/LP/Track Review Jojje Wadenius (70)
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Energy - Saul Losada" CD/LP/Track Review Energy - Saul Losada
by Paul Naser
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.