Artists: Hugh Hopper

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CANTERBURY SANS FRONTIÈRES: Episode Twenty Seven (ID: 534)

CANTERBURY SANS FRONTIÈRES:

Episode Twenty Seven

We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes:

As with Canterbury Soundwaves , a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon. I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up

(i) repeating myself,

(ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential.

This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less  expository – so no interviews, barely listenable bootlegs, etc. I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).

And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?

A recent reworking of Hugh Hopper's "Facelift" featuring his saxophonist brother Brian  with young Canterbury friends, Soft Machine playing on French TV in '72, Robert Wyatt singing on British TV in '83, Hillage and friends getting cosmic in '77, an acoustic Egg cover, another Soft Machine cover from California's The Monks of Doom, spiritual jazz classics from Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock, some gorgeous 21st century Fripp & Eno, Archie Shepp connections past and present, and new music from the Canterbury area in the form of  Arlet, Adam Oko and The Thirteen Club. 


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Hugh Hopper Biography

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 that 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 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: IsotopeGilgamesh, Stomu Yamashta and Carla Bley. He also formed some co-operative bands with Elton Dean who had also been in Soft Machine. Previously Dean had been in a band called Bluesology, whose keyboard player Reginald Dwight had come to the conclusion that his was not a name that had much commercial potential, so he pinched Dean’s Christian name and as a surname chose part of the name of Bluesology’s lead singer, Long John Baldry.

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