Hugh Hopper Band — Alive!
(Blueprint BP150, 1987/1993, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1999-11-01After his glory days with Soft Machine, Hugh Hopper went through some lean times (musically at least), until the mid to late 80s, when he hooked up with a crew of Dutch musicians for a number of tours of Holland. This CD is the record of those proceedings. Seven of the nine tracks were recorded on the 1987 tour; the other two date from 1985. Joining Hopper in the band are saxmen Frank van der Kooy and Kees van Veldhuizen, keyboardist Dionys Breukers, guitarist Hans van der Zee, and drummers Pieter Bast (1987) and André Maes (1985). The playing stays pretty solidly within jazz idioms, never rocking hard and not too wild. The recording quality is good except the 1985 cuts, which are above-average for bootleg, but noticeably inferior to the others. Hopper’s “Glider” gets things off to a breezy start, providing a solo opportunity for piano, and some nice ensemble playing. Other band members contribute a few compositions to the set, including van der Kooy’s “Forget the Dots” in a quick 7/4 with a great sax solo (from the composer?), and two from van der Zee. Probably my favorite of Hopper’s contributions is “Turfschip Enterprise,” a slow funk groove in three featuring guitar that mutates into a bouncy swinging tempo for a sax solo. Aside from the distracting poor recording of the two 1985 tracks, only some dated keyboard sounds serve as a slight detriment to this set.
Related artist(s): Hugh Hopper
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
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
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
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
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