Exposé Online banner

Exposé Online

Not just outside the box, but denying the existence of boxes.
Covering music from the fringes since 1993.

Due to technical difficulties, we are temporarily using a scaled-down version of our website. Please pardon the sound of jackhammers.

Reviews

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

 

What's new

These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.