Gloriously atmospheric, jagged and intense, 2004's 'The Stolen Hour' was a superb extension of Hugh Hopper's 'Jazzloops' series of explorations written to accompany the distinctive imagery of American comic book artist, Matt Howarth. Assisted by, amongst others, Robert Wyatt (cornet, voice), John Marshall and Didier Malherbe, Hopper updated the Jazz-tinged Minimalist looping he initially developed in the 1960s, evoking the innovative spirit of early Soft Machine, while simultaneously suggesting new possibilities for his music. Matt Howarth's 'The Stolen Hour', the visual inspiration for this landmark in the development of Hopper's truly idiosyncratic talent, is featured as a pdf file on the enhanced CD.
This was Hugh Hopper's second solo album but the first he released after leaving SOFT MACHINE. Hugh hooked up with recording engineer Mike Dunne who had been the assistant engineer on his first record ("1984"). Mike was now in charge of the mobile studio of Jon Anderson of YES. Mike suggested that he could provide the studio while Hugh would provide the music and musicians. Hugh notes: "By the time I had arranged the music into some sort of coherent order and invited the various guest musicians, Mike's studio was set up in one of London's big film sound studios, where YES rehearsed for tours. Jon Anderson occasionally popped his head around the door when we were beavering away at some tricky tape-looping or double-speeded bass, and Steve Howe looked in once, I seem to remember. I knew them slightly anyway, from SOFT MACHINE tours when the two bands came together at festivals".
Cardboard sleeve reissue features remastering in 2013 and the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format (compatible with standard CD players). Includes bonus tracks. Originally released in 1973 by the Soft Machine bassist shortly after the band had lost eccentric drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt and had begun their evolution into a respectable (and somewhat predictable) jazz-rock ensemble, this was Hopper's attempt at something more experimental.
Cardboard sleeve reissue. Features SHM-CD format. For those who may regard free jazz as inherently unapproachable, Numero D'Vol proves that it is possible to be completely spontaneous while creating music that maintains an instinctive focus. Saxophonist Simon Picard, keyboardist Steve Franklin and drummer Charles Hayward join Soft Machine Legacy's Hopper for a session that proves there's even room for a backbeat in purely improvised music.
From the remnants of Soft Machine, electric bass guitarist Hugh Hopper and saxophonist Elton Dean formed the quartet Soft Heap to further advance their progressive jazz-fusion oriented ideas. As keyboardist Mike Ratledge, multi-instrumentalist Karl Jenkins, and electric guitarist Allan Holdsworth took Soft Machine into a different, louder arena, Hopper and Dean were more intrigued with the intuitive creative improvised side of the music away from their initially strict Canterbury orientation…
Short Wave Live is the only album by Short Wave, a UK band related to the Canterbury Scene, consisting of Hugh Hopper (bass), Didier Malherbe (sax), Phil Miller (guitar) and Pip Pyle (drums). The band was formed in 1991. Miller and Pyle had been playing together in In Cahoots, which had previously also included Hopper. In 1993, they released a live album that contains material from concerts in England, 1991 and France, 1992. Short Wave was short lived - all members were also busy in other projects and bands. The album was reissued on CD in 2005 on Voiceprint Records.
For their first album, Caravan was surprisingly strong. While steeped in the same British psychedelia that informed bands such as Love Children, Pink Floyd, and Tomorrow, Caravan relates a freedom of spirit and mischief along the lines of Giles, Giles & Fripp or Gong. The band's roots can be traced to a British blue-eyed soul combo called the Wilde Flowers. Among the luminaries to have passed through this Caravan precursor were Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper and Brian Hopper (pre-Soft Machine, naturally). By the spring of 1968, Caravan had settled nicely into a quartet consisting of Pye Hastings (guitar/bass/vocals), Richard Coughlan (drums), David Sinclair (organ/vocals), and Richard Sinclair (bass/guitar/vocals). Inspired by the notoriety and acclaim that Soft Machine encountered during the burgeoning days of London's underground scene, Caravan began a residency at the Middle Earth club. Additionally, the band was shopping a homemade demo tape around to local record companies.