Exposé Online banner

Hopper Picard Franklin Hayward — Numero d'vol
(Moonjune MJR014, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01

Numero d'vol Cover art

Hugh Hopper hardly ever misses an opportunity for a group improvisation. Given his time spent with sax player Simon Picard doing Soft Machine tributes and keeping tabs on keyboardist Steve Franklin (ex-Phil Miller’s In Cahoots), it’s clear that as a forward thinking collaboration, something new was to be created with ex-Quiet Sun, This Heat drummer Charles Hayward. Across eleven revealing pieces (all group arranged) the quartet takes many melodic risks and come up with the good stuff on nearly every roll of the interplay dice. Picard’s legato opening to the title track serves as the proper groundwork for another Softs influenced (not derivative) project that has as much to do with atmospherics and mood as Canterbury-induced vibe. The rhythm section of Hopper and Hayward is a bit tentative across the tracks but most persuasive on pieces such as the franticly paced “On the Spot” and “Get That Tap,” where they get to strut their provable know how. The former piece is a showcase for Hopper’s diagonal slice soloing with Hayward prodding the song then letting the track go slack for Franklin’s looped piano segues to overlay. The latter tune reflects an atmospheric slant with Hayward adding little snippets of rhythmic backing for Picard to add slightly to. “Bees Knees Man” has the most in common with classic Soft Machine as well as Picard’s best playing on the disc. Overall this is a great new ensemble in need of gigs and serious promotion.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Franklin, Charles Hayward, Hugh Hopper, Simon Picard

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rebekka - Phoenix – Phoenix was the first release by the German band Rebekka, whose brand of progressive music featured tablas and tamboura besides the standard guitar, flute, sax, keyboards, bass, and percussion. This...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues