Superb set from Hugh Hopper - of the highest standard . Hugh Hopper left us far
too soon . This is a worthy addition to his legacy . I can not recommend this too highly . A must for all devotees of the manifestations of Soft Machine .
Favorite track: Bees Knees Man.
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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.There's also space for contemporary textures and a touch of ambient music, as Franklin layers waves of synth beds under his oblique, introspective piano musings. Picard, also a member of guitarist Phil Miller’s In Cahoots, brings an angular lyricism with his intuitive, weaving sax lines.This hour-long experiment in rhythm-based collective interaction is some of the last published work from the former Soft Machine' and Soft Machine Legacy's legendary bassist, and stands as a fitting, lasting tribute to the spirit of this legendary musician. A "must have" for Soft Machine completists and free jazz fans.
“If born in 19th century, Hugh Hopper would have been a cartographer or topographer, an explorer of territory and definer of space. Not for him, the observer’s projections onto peoples and customs of anthropology. First and foremost, he makes music that charts landscapes, if it has an emotional aspect, it is in our reaction to it rather than in the places and attractions to which it takes us. In some ways, this is familiar territory and more a replotting of existing contours and valleys, yet it is also Hopper’s strongest record in years. He needs boundary-jumpers and sound scientists like Picard, Franklin and Hayward, who can make that necessary leap. And this is powerful, strong, robust music. Bass lines like unhurried rivers with his legendary fuzz swirling in eddies plot their course, while Picard’s muscular sax scales peaks and cliffs. Keyboards marks the changing seasons blowing across the plains and the drums count time passing. Even its abstractions are details not yet fully defined. This is Dartmoor, the Gobi, the Alps and the Indus valley. A great record for geographers everywhere.”
– JAZZWISE MAGAZINE, UK
released June 25, 2016
HUGH HOPPER: bass guitar
SIMON PICARD: tenor sax
STEVE FRANKLIN: keyboards
CHARLES HAYWARD: drums