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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trygve Seim - Sangam – If there was ever a time for a new jazz icon, composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim surely fits that bill. His ensemble's well received performance at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival was a jaw-dropper,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues