Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

289

Hugh Hopper: The Gift of Purpose

Mark Redlefsen By

Sign in to view read count
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 Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Float The Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Samba Para a Vida" CD/LP/Track Review Samba Para a Vida
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017