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Hopper, Hugh: Memories Volume 1

The late Hugh Hopper and former bass player for the progressive rock band Soft Machine was involved in many groups and projects with his music covering a wide range of genres and styles. As a tribute to Hugh, Gonzo Multimedia is releasing a massive ten CD career retrospective of this iconic artist. The first CD is titled Memories and is the subject of this review.

The music spans twenty-five years with the earliest tune, "Memories", recorded in 1969. This is a demo with Soft Machine and a good one it is. A plaintive tune with sparse instrumentation wrapped in a shroud of poignancy. Hopper brings out his fuzzed bass lines in the loosely structured "Shuffle Demons", a jazz fusion piece featuring nice piano, intricate bass runs and a ripping sax solo. "Was A Friend" and "Dabinaire", both with his Franglo Band, are a couple of more recent offerings. The former is a gently flowing jazz rock track on the mellow side while the former is a little more rousing featuring excellent sax work.

The last tune, appropriately titled "Long Piece", is a seventeen minute sound collage where Hopper gets a little help from his computer, experimenting with different sounds, loops and textures.

The CD booklet includes essays by Michael King, Brian Hopper and an interview of Hopper conducted by Davey Cross. Informative stuff and a must have for Hopper fans.

A nice package overall, Memories Volume 1, will sit quite nicely beside your Soft Machine collection.

Track Listing:
1. Memories
2. Was A Friend
3. Shuffle Demons
4. Playtime
5. Dabinaire
6. MGH
7. Long Piece

Added: October 11th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1220
Language: english

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