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Hopper, Hugh: Frangloband Volume 2

Since the demise of The Soft Machine (the band continued to tour in the 1980s), Hopper had been involved musically in many side ventures and none were more important than his Frangloband project. They were together from 1999 to 2005 but only played a total of six live shows. The second volume in Gonzo Multimedia's ten CD career retrospective features a live performance at Le Triton, Paris on March 13th, 2003. As such, this should be considered an important archival documentation of the band.

Hitting the stage we have the aforementioned Hopper (bass), Patrice Meyer (guitar), Pierre-Olivier Govin (baritone and alto saxophones) and Francois Verly (drums, tablas). Guest musician Didier Malherbe adds bamboo flute and soprano saxophone on one track.

There is over seventy minutes of music here, with four songs passing the ten minute mark so there is much to digest. The first two tracks demonstrate the extended jam-like quality this band had live. "Facelift" starts in a subtle manner with sparse percussion and alto sax. The drums are subdued but complex leading to a kind of spacey jam where Hopper shows his fuzzy bass tones. There is a psychedelic rock influence as well, especially when Meyer's inspired guitar work gets into the action. "Lonely Sky and The Sea" starts with lovely baritone sax. Again, Meyer makes his presence felt with some disjointed soloing and chords. The rhythmic groove set by Hopper and Verly is one of the more addictive moments on the disc.

The last track "Miniluv" is a little mellower with a very nice intro of bamboo flute and tablas. The sax and flute continue to weave magical lines on top of Hopper's steady bass groove. Meyer's guitar work is gentler, focusing more on acoustic flavourings. Again, this band really had a knack for extended jams showcasing each musician's musical prowess. Just like Memories - Volume 1, Frangloband - Volume 2 is another worthy addition to Hugh Hopper's body of work. Hopper fans should not pass this one up.

Track Listing:
1. Facelift
2. Lonely Sky and The Sea
3. Mr. Syms
4. Sliding Dogs
5. Shuffle Demons
6. Wanglo Saxon
7. Miniluv

Added: October 13th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1226
Language: english

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