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Hugh Hopper - Volume One: Memories (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 28th July 2014

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST240CD
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Hugh Hopper - Volume One: Memories

Hugh Hopper started his musical career in 1963 as the bass player with the Daevid Allen Trio alongside drummer Robert Wyatt.  There can be few other free jazz bands of the era with such a stellar line-up. Unlike other legendary ensembles such as The Crucial Three (a Liverpool band from 1977 which featured three musicians who were to go on to enormous success) the Daevid Allen Trio actually played gigs and made recordings.

All three members ended up in Soft Machine, which together with Pink Floyd was the ‘house band’ of the burgeoning ‘Underground’ movement which tried so hard to turn British cultural mores upside down for a few years in the latter half of the 1960s.  (Hopper and Wyatt had also been in another legendary Canterbury band called The Wilde Flowers).  Hopper stayed with Soft Machine (for whom he was initially the group’s road manager) until 1973 playing at least one session with Syd Barrett along the way.

During his tenure the band developed from a psychedelic pop group to an instrumental jazz rock fusion band, all the time driven by the lyrical bass playing of Hugh Hopper.

After leaving the band he worked with many pillars of the jazz rock fusion scene such as: Isotope, Gilgamesh, Stomu Yamashta and Carla Bley.  He also formed some co-operative bands with Elton Dean who had also been in Soft Machine

This is the first of a ten part series compiled by Michael King, a Canadian Hugh Hopper Scholar. He writes: “My first encounter with the music of Hugh Colin Hopper backdates to the summer of 1976. While visiting a friend I was intentional played a record titled Volume Two from a British rock group about whom I knew little, The Soft Machine. The experience was staggering and prompted a radical reappraisal for the conventions I had been conditioned to accept as ‘Progressive’. Once smitten I undertook to follow and purchase a spate of seriously inventive record albums that Hugh Hopper released and appeared on, namely; Hoppertunity Box, Rogue Element, Soft Heap, Cruel But Fair and Two Rainbows Daily. Throughout these works I found Hugh’s textural bass guitar by turns anchored and animated the music with ample good taste. Here was a rarefied musician who avoided overplaying his instrument in favour of approaches reflecting his personal musical Zen”.

Technically, by processing his bass guitar with fuzz box, flanger, wha-wha, octave pedal effects, his use of tapes loops, and latterly computer programming, Hugh constructed multilayer soundscapes with great attention to detail. His creative template embraced aesthetics well beyond the orthodox roles assigned to the bass guitar and its practitioner. As example, Hugh cleverly adapted the time altering effects of the repetitive tapes loops he was creating with two tape recorders in the early sixties - to his bass guitar - by playing such repeating patterns in real time. Furthermore, minimalist mutations and modularity often characterize the rhythmic, harmonic, melodic foundations of Hugh’s musical compositions (many displaying melody lines of uncommon length). These aspects, alongside a brilliant capacity to freely improvise, (dynamically from a whisper to a roar) distinguish Hugh Hopper as a consummate musician of great standing, one who thrived in myriad musical settings”.

This ten part series is to compliment an heretofore large body of work (over sixty titles) by presenting previously unreleased concert and studio recordings, with the focus on Hugh’s compositions as performed by groups under his leadership. This first volume has the strapline “Many Friends” and features a dazzling range of Hopper plus collaborators over a period of  some thirty five years…

1. Memories – Hugh Hopper’s Demo with Soft Machine

Hugh Hopper, bass guitar/acoustic guitar;

Mike Ratledge, piano/organ; Robert Wyatt, drums/vocals

Recorded August 6th, 1969. Regent Studios, London, U.K

2. Was A Friend – Hugh Hopper Franglo Band

Patrice Meyer, electric guitar; Pierre Olivier-Govin, saxes;

Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Francois Verly, drums

Recorded May 29th, 2004. St. Jean-aux-Bois, France

3. Shuffle Demons – North & South

Steve Kettley, tenor saxophone; Paul Flush, keyboards;

Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Mike Travis, drums/percussion

Recorded August 23rd, 1995. Aberdeen, Scotland

4. Playtime – Hugh Hopper Interprets Alan Gowen

Hugh Hopper – computer programming

Recorded circa 2002. Whitstable, U.K.

5. Debonaire – Hugh Hopper Franglo Band

Patrice Meyer, electric guitar; Pierre Olivier-Govin, saxes;

Hugh Hopper, bass guitar; Francois Verly, drums

Recorded May 29th, 2004. St. Jean-aux-Boix, France

6. MGH – Hugh Hopper & Nigel Morris

Hugh Hopper, fuzz bass; Nigel Morris, drums/percussion

Recorded circa 2002. California and Whitstable, U.K.

7. Long Piece – Hugh Hopper Computer Collage

Hugh Hopper + Many Friends = Many Surprises

Recorded circa 2002. Whitstable, U.K.


 Review: Belgium reviews translated

Hugh Hopper: Vol. 1 - Memories + Vol. 2 - Franglo band 

Slowly but surely disappearing musical icons of the sixties. So it fared bassist Hugh Hopper in 2009 after an incurable leukemia. Really not nice because Hugh Hopper started at the time when the Daevid Allen Trio, was road manager at Soft Machine but if in the legendary band for a year. Later play Slowly changed their oeuvre of a psychedelic rock band ("A certain kind 'was written by Hopper) to a jazz-rock fusion band. 
Hopper, there was not enough of it and amused himself in numerous bands (Isotope, Gilgamesh, Stomu Yamashta and Carla Bley). 
Gonzo Media Group, which specializes in beautiful (re) releases recently released the first two volumes of a 10-part series on Hugh Hopper: as a group, band leader, composer, versatile and unique bass-player. 
The songs on Vol. 1 - Memories paint a multifaceted picture of Hugh Hopper with catchy jazz-rock. Hugh Hopper created multi-layered soundscapes with his bass, and loved repetitive loops. His compositions are teeming with virtuosity, melodic sounds, inventiveness and improvisation. Already working with Robert Wyatt, in the song 'Memories', only this collector worthwhile. Most of the songs date back yet from the beginning of this century, and then get a little more light-hearted content. "Was a friend" carries in its composition an Indian touch, west meets east. Pleasing to the ear! 
The gathered by Canadian Michael King searched numbers sometimes are an extension of Soft Machine, but call (especially Vol 2 -. Frangloband) also memories of Klaus Doldinger "Passport. 
Superb compilation with unknown live and studio material from a forgotten icon. Looking forward to Vol. 3! 
Marino Serdons (4)

 Review: French review translated




01. Memories (feat: Soft Machine) 3:04, 02. Was a Friend (feat: Hugh Hopper Franglo Band) 10:50, 03. Shuffle Demons (feat : North & South / Mike Travis) 9:31, 04. Playtime 6:31, 05.Dabinaire (feat: Hugh Hopper Franglo Band) 9:25, 06. MGH (feat: Nigel Morris) 7:07, . 07Long Piece (feat Hugh Hopper Computer Collage) 4:59 p.m. TRAINING: François Verly (Battery (2.5)), Hugh Hopper (Acoustic Guitar (1), Programming (4)), Mike Ratledge (keyboards (1)), Mike Travis (Battery (3), Percussion (3)), Nigel Morris (Drums (6), Percussion (6)), Patrice Meyer (Guitar (2.5)), Paul Flush (Keyboards (3)), Pierre-Olivier Govin (Saxophones (2.5)), Robert Wyatt (Chant (1) Battery (1)), Steve Kettley (Tenor Saxophone) (3) TAG: 70's , Avant-garde , Canterbury , Experimental , Instrumental , Jam , Jazzy ,compilation


Written by Corto1809 the 10/21/2014
Gonzo Multimedia undertook to trace the career of Hugh Hopper as taking ten albums studio recordings andlive that have never before been published. For those to whom the name of Hugh Hopper not evoke anything, remember it is one of the founding fathers of the school of Canterbury alongside Robert Wyatt , Kevin Ayers ,Mike Ratledge and Richard Sinclair and others. Bassist Soft Machine until 1973, he worked during the 35 years that follow many projects: a wide variation of groups "soft" in tribute to the soft machine (Soft Heap, Soft Head, Softworks, Soft Machine Legacy Softbounds, Polysoft) but also experiments with less British musicians as Hopper Goes Dutch successively become The Hugh Hopper Franglo-Dutch Band when the French guitarist Patrice Meyer will interfere in the Dutch group and The Hugh Hopper Band Franglo when all musicians around d 'Hopper will be French. If group names change, if the musicians revolving around bassist evolve, and if it crosses musical experiences are many, man nevertheless remains faithful to a jazz-rock jazz sometimes that rock, sometimes more rock than jazz, sometimes compound, sometimes improvised and occasionally flirting with bold experimentation and avant-garde. The first ten albums outlines through seven pieces it offers. No chronological order here, the thread seeming to be to discover the different facets collaborations forged by Hugh Hopper (the subtitle of the album is called 'Many Friends'), particularly in Soft Machine (' Memories' only title of the album sung by the diaphanous voice of Robert Wyatt ) and Franglo Band (as a studio, 'Was A Friend', and a live, 'Dabinaire'). 'Memories',' Was A Friend ',' Shuffle Demons 'and' Dabinaire '(partially marred by the disrespectful chatter of the public that can be discerned behind the music through headphones) are all virtuosos digressions where the interest lies more in the sensitivity of artists' that 'the melodic framework itself. 'Playtime', 'MGH' and 'Long Piece' will require more openness and patience in their experimental nature: the first is a computer-programmed adaptation, the second arid duo bass / percussion improvised and the last one collage of instrumental loops, various conversations and ramblings of a sax and a harmonium. course, it would be illusory to summarize forty-five years career in such a short title and interest is mainly due to the scarcity from those presented here. But the album is not directed exclusively compulsive collectors and will interest all lovers of sensitive jazz-rock instrumentalists wanderings emeritus.

 Review: UK Review


Hugh Hopper


Volume One: Memories (Gonzo)


Having read about this ten part series (a walloping great new collection of previously unreleased concert and studio recordings compiled by Michael King) some time ago now I have to admit to being not a little excited to hear the results and I’m happy to say the Volume One: Memories – featuring a range of Hopper collaborators cherry picked from the past thirty five odd years – is a genuinely great kick off providing an amuse-bouche for what is to follow. We’ll be looking out for more releases in this series, as indeed should you (also now available isVolume Two Frangloband Live at Triton Club, Paris 2004).


The Oracle


 Review: VOL. 1-MEMORIES (Hugh Hopper)

Hugh Hopper: Vol. 1-MemoriesI was not to familiar with Hugh Hopper but you don’t really have to be. Memories volume 1 includes a list of works that Hopper recorded with bands he featured in, such as Soft Machine, Franglo Band, and some tunes he recorded with friends. 
In-between each track Hopper offers up a low-fi recorded introduction to each track. It sounds kind of pieced together, but the quality of the music is amazingly crisp and enjoyable. 
The album features seven tracks that I felt were a bit touch and go at first. There are some tunes in which Hopper uses a computer to generate music which is reminiscent of Walter Carlos’ work on Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange soundtrack. It’s very space age sounding and of course artificial in the mix of some great jazz fusion coming from other proper instruments. Not terrible once you come to terms with what it is. 
The straight organic jazz fusion tracks on the album are breathtaking. At one point, after listening to guitar on one track, the only thing that came to mind was a smashed window falling down in a chaotic fashion but hitting the ground producing musical notes that somehow managed to make sense. It’s jazz, you get what you get. 

 Review: UK Review

HUGH HOPPER Memories / Franglo BandHUGH HOPPER
Memories / Franglo Band
In case you don’t know, the late Hugh Hopper started his musical career in 1963 as the bass player with the Daevid Allen Trio alongside drummer Robert Wyatt, with all three ending up in a little known beat combo called Soft Machine.  They had an interesting history, developing rapidly from a psych pop band into legends of jazz rock.
After Hopper left the band, he continued to work in the genre, with the likes of Isotope, Gilgamesh and Stomu Yamashta, as well as a serious of collaborations with fellow Soft Machiner Elton Dean.  And what we have here are the first two installments of a ten part series compiled by Michael King.  And it’s, um, interesting.
The first CD is likely to be the most popular, with Soft Machine fans always keen to get their hands on material, and this sees things like a 1969 demo of ‘Memories’ with Mike Ratledge on piano / organ and Robert Wyatt, drums / vocals popping up, alongside much later material, primarily from the 21st century.  I doubt anyone would listen to ‘Long Piece’, credited to Hugh Hopper Computer Collage more than once, but the Franglo Band material is very listenable.
Over on Volume 2, it’s all Franglo Band, recorded at a Paris show in 2004, and it is a real treat.  The band really do set out on a musical exploration across numbers like ‘Facelif’, ‘Sliding Dogs’ and ‘Shuffle Demons’, with a guesting Didier Malherbe adding some Gong on one number.  This is the one to buy.

 Review: German review translated

Hugh Hopper / Memories
Memories Playing time: 63:29
Format: CD
Label: Gonzo Multimedia, 2014
Style: Fusion, Prog Rock

Review on 17/10/2014 Joachim 'Joe' Brookes

Honor to whom honor is due. The died in 2009, Hugh Hopper (including Soft Machine / Soft Machine Legacy ) was from the late sixties until 1973 the bass player for the Canterbury band Soft Machine to illuminate and these creative musicians with only one album, it would not be fair. There are a total of ten items, which have been brought onto the market separately. This album "Memories" is first. Volume 2 is "Frangloband". Then follow plates with the titles "North & South", "Four By Hugh By Four", "Heart To Heart", "Special Friends", "Soft Boundaries", "Bass On Top", "Anatomy Of Facelift" and "What A Friend ".
From the information sheet from Gonzo Multimedia stating that "[...] the ten part series is to compliment a heretofore large body of work (over sixty titles) by presenting previously unreleased concerts and studio recordings, with a focus on Hugh's Compositions as Performed by groups under his leadership. [...] " were compiled the tracks from Michael King , a Canadian student of English bassist.
Born on 29.04.1945 started Hugh Hopper's musical career already with delicate eighteen years in the Daevid Allen Trio , already with drummer Robert Wyatt in the line-up. In 1964, the Tieftonzupfer along with his brother Brian formation The Wilde Flowers . Again drummed Robert Wyatt . Other members were Kevin Ayers , who is also in Soft Machine was active and Hugh Hopper was replaced, and Richard Sinclair . The latter was then in also belonging to the Canterbury Scene groupCaravan active.
Soft Machine was with her ​​avant-garde experimental music of his time to the leading formations and after Hugh Hopper 1973, the successful combo of turned his back, he worked together with Carla Bley , Gary Boyle's Isotope , Gilgamesh by Alan Bowen or Stomu Yamashita group Eastwind . In theFranglo-Dutch band played Hugh Hopper together with Dutch musicians and as the French guitaristPatrice Meyer came to be called Franglo band .
Even "Memories" is an impressive showcase of the bassist. It highlights various stages of his career.Here one encounters not only on Soft Machine . So the protagonist interprets the music of Alan Gowen . Beautiful here in its context on the band National Health to refer. Gilgamesh was another station of Alan Gowen . Hugh Hopper's group Franglo tape comes in two pieces also have their say and the last song of the album "Long Piece" is a sound experience of a special kind . Though billed as 'Hugh Hopper Computer collage', it is well to handmade music, as are the Line-up »Friends = + Many Many Surprises" announced. Are available for all songs brief introductory information of Hugh Hopper and the song just mentioned he can not remember all the participants. Anyway, "Long Piece" is a session with many facets and it lights not only in the spectral colors. There are infinitely many nuances in this fusion groove. Hammer, as Hugh Hopper has merged this song about creative arrangements. There is a barely-ending galaxy of loops, saxophone antics, singing, improvisation and musical bulky parts, which should delight die-hard fans of jazz in most free forms. "Memories" is a cosmos of floating dreams (even with a Far Eastern Gusto), intense sounds and phases of the exalted Expressionism.
The booklet has been compiled carefully. The images reflect the past, and the presence of the bassist. There is an accompanying text by Michael King , a statement of Brian Hopper and a abgedrucktes interview Davey Cross led. From station to station ... on "Memories" are Hopper Hughactivities from 1969 to 2004 documented. This plate is already a must for music lovers."Frangloband" offers live concert from 2003, recorded at Le Triton, Paris.
Hugh Hopper (bass - # 1-3, fuzz bass - # 6, acoustic guitar - # 1 computer programming - # 4)
Mike Ratledge (piano - # 1 organ - # 1)
Robert Wyatt (drums - # 1, vocals - # 1)
Patrice Meyer (electric guitar - # 2.5)
Pierre-Olivier Govin (saxophones - # 2.5)
Francois Verly (drums - # 2.5)
Steve Kettley (tenor saxophone - # 3)
Paul Flush (keyboards - # 3)
Mike Travis (drums - # 3, percussion - # 3)
Nigel Morris (drums - # 6)
01: Memories [Hugh Hopper's Demo With Soft Machine] (3:05)
02: What A Friend [Hugh Hopper Franglo Band] (10:50)
03: Shuffle Demons [North & South] (9:32)
04: Play Time [ Hugh Hopper interprets Alan Gowen] (6:31)
05: Debonaire [Hugh Hopper Franglo Band] (9:25)
06: MGH [Hugh Hopper & Nigel Morris] (7:07)
07: Long Piece [Hugh Hopper Computer Collage] (16:59)

 Review: US Review

GONZO MULTIMEDIA - One of the key musicians from the dawn of late 1960’s progressive rock, the late great Hugh Hopper passed away in June 2009. Considered as a founding member of classic U.K. prog outfit Soft Machine, strangely enough replacing Kevin Ayers on bass in 1969, Hopper rose through the ranks and released a large body of work before his untimely passing. Fans of Hopper and Soft Machine can celebrate his work thanks to a voluminous body of work, encompassing over sixty different albums Hugh recorded with various bands and as a solo artist. Gonzo’s 10 CD series is appropriately entitled Dedicated To Hugh and the first two installments—Memories(Volume 1 - a cross section of tracks spanning Hopper’s career, starting in 1969) and Frangloband (Volume 2 - Live at The Triton Club, Paris 2004) were released in mid 2014. Each of these first two CDs is packed with detailed liner notes and rare pics of Hopper with a number of key bands and musicians. Memories features in depth interview and liner notes while Frangloband features more modest packaging including liner notes by Aymeric Leroy. Released by the great U.K. based label Gonzo Multimedia, each CD in the series was superbly compiled, edited and mastered by Michael King. Fans of Soft Machine as well as Hopper’s prodigious output in a number of bands will enjoy this in depth look into the archives of a real hero of U.K. prog-rock. 

 Review: French review (not translated)


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