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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Metal / Crystal – If it's true – at least in creative work – that quantity yields quality, the recent releases by Richard Pinhas are proving that maxim possesses a limited applicability. Built as a...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues