Exposé Online banner

Brian Hopper — If Ever I Am
(Voiceprint VP338CD, 2004, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

If Ever I Am Cover art

Canterbury fans may recall Hugh’s brother who was a member of the Wilde Flowers and played sax on Soft Machine Volume Two. Since that time Hopper was also involved in the bootleg quality Canterburied series on Voiceprint making available rare performances from various acts as well including Beggar’s Farm and Zobe. 2004 found the sax player and composer enlisting old friends for work on new songs and a revisit on old ones. Both Hugh and Robert Wyatt appear in support and lead roles on various pieces. Wyatt delivers two memorable lead vocals on the “The Pieman Cometh” and a reprise of “Hope for Happiness.” The former piece is a slice of synth keyboard and programmed drums that benefits from Wyatt’s choired vocals and trumpet. The latter nine minute revisitation of the Softs’ classic tune from their first album has Wyatt crooning over an Indian raga motif that supposedly was the original plan for the piece. Francis Knight gives the best piano accompaniment on the disc on “Sometimes It Is.” Alternately, “Modality” is perhaps the best conceived piece on the disc as the two Hopper brothers find familiar jazz ground in their bass and sax interplay. Old bandmate Graham Flight provides a techno keyboard loop on “For Freedom,” where Wyatt’s sampled voice works in a successful but somewhat uncharacteristic fashion. In closing, it’s clear that Hopper has maintained close roots to his Canterbury jazz leanings as fans will no doubt agree.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Brian Hopper, Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Midas - Beyond the Clear Air – Midas were one of the unheralded "Made in Japan" groups and only recorded one album in 1988, which this is a reissue of. It's unfortunate that Midas went by so unnoticed; Beyond the Clear Air is...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues