Former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper has been a busy musician over the years, releasing numerous albums of avant-garde jazz and prog, as well as guesting on many other artists' projects. Jazzloops is his first release on Burning Shed, and the title is very indicative of the sounds contained within the CD.
Known as one of the creator's of the so-called "fuzz bass" sound, Hopper utilizes that style to great measures throughout Jazzloops. His rippling bass work cuts through endless keyboard and drum loops on tracks like "Garrisol" and "Afrik", while "Sfrankl" is a mysterious space rock jaunt featuring the haunting sax work of Elton Dean. It's not until "Acloop" that things start to pick up steam, as this tune is a bouncy funk meets prog number with HUGE fuzz bass, jazzy horns, and nimble drum work from fellow Soft Machine alumnus Robert Wyatt. "1212" is a dark jazz piece with some stinging electric guitar from Hopper, while "Digwot" and "L4" are very ECM styled moody fusion excursions. There is even some neat King Crimson inspired sounds on the adventurous "Calmozart", with distorted Frippian guitar leads, pounding bass, and manic percussion. The closing track "Nigepo" will remind you of classic Weather Report, with Elton Dean playing the Wayne Shorter role perfectly, as his melodic sax weaves in and out of the solid rhythm created by Hopper and Wyatt.
While much of Jazzloops will take a few listens to get into, there is a good combination of jazz, avant-garde, and progressive fusion to get your creative listening juices flowing. Hearing Hopper, Dean, Wyatt, and John Marshall, all former Soft Machine members, jamming together again is another reason to celebrate in my book.