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Hopper, Hugh: Hopper Tunity Box (remaster)

Hopper Tunity Box is the 1976 album from bassist Hugh Hopper, wriiten and recorded a few years after he left Soft Machine in 1973. Newly remastered by the nice folks over at Cuneiform Records, this Hopper solo album is a real gem of 70's jazz-rock, and features a wide assortment of guest players like Elton Dean, Dave Stewart, Mike Travis, Richard Brunton, Nigel Morris, Gary Window, Frank Roberts, and Mark Charig.

There's some highly adventurous stuff here, first and foremost the blazing romp that is "Gant Prong", featuring Dave Stewart on organ & oscillators, with Mike Travis on gymnastic drums and Hopper's ever reliable & muscular bass work. Stewart of course steals the show on this one, as his fuzzy organ jaunts rampage through the mix on this frantic fusion burner. The title track also features Stewart on organ & electric piano, with Hopper multri-tracking the bass and some descant & tenor recorders for a truly wild sound, while "Miniluv" is a beefy, bubbling tune with plenty of fuzz bass, thick guitar riffs, and a screaming sax solo from Windo. The jazzy "The Lonely Sea and the Sky" sees Elton Dean and Mark Charig creating some breezy melodies on saxello and cornet, while Frank Roberts' tasty electric piano and Hopper's fuzz bass provide the backdrop. "Crumble" has a real funky, fusiony feel, thanks to Roberts' Corea-ish electric piano vamps (and stunning solo) and Brunton's wah-wah guitar riffs, but it also features some nimble drum grooves from Travis and cool sax lines from Windo. Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" is given a laid back and somber treatment, with loops, yearning sax & cornet, and "Mobile Mobile" is a dark and ominous piece with Hopper's monstrous multi-tracked bass leading the charge over Stewart's soaring pianet & organ and the tricky fusion drum work of Nigel Morris. Elton Dean delivers a winding extended sax solo on the Frank Zappa-ish "Spanish Knee", and the closing number "Oyster Perpetual" is all Hopper on multi-tracked bass, with a tasty solo that shows his melodic sense.

Most will probably find Hopper Tunity Box to be a very overlooked and solid 70's fusion album, which makes this remaster from Cuneiform all the more important. Hugh Hopper has been a part of many groundbreaking recordings over his long career, and this album is certainly one of them. If you didn't check out Hopper Tunity Box the first time around, what better time to do so for the first time than now.

Track Listing
1. Hopper Tuity Box
2. Miniluv
3. Gant Prong
4. The Lonely Sea And The Sky
5. Crumble
6. Lonely Woman
7. Mobile Mobile
8. Spanish Knee
9. Oyster Perpetual

Added: March 7th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Cuneiform Records
Hits: 1976
Language: english

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