The Squid’s Ear Reviews

From the Squid’s Ear:

Tim Olive:
The Specialist
(EM Records)

Bevan / Corsano / Lash:
Monster Club
(Foghorn)

Andrea Parkins:
Faulty (Broken Orbit)
(Important Records)

Various Artists:
Institute of Sonology 1959-1969
(Sub Rosa)

Daniel Meyer Gronvold / Havard Volden:

(Creative Sources)

John Butcher Group:
somethingtobesaid
(Weight of Wax)

Jason Kahn:
Vanishing Point
(23five)

Soft Machine:
Drop
(Moonjune Records)

Gato Barbieri:
In Search Of The Mystery
(ESP)

Wrekmeister Harmonies (J. R. Robinson):
Recordings Made In Public Spaces Volume One CD/DVD
(Atavistic)

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Hugh Hopper

I haven’t confirmed this yet, but the word is out that bassist Hugh Hopper, most known for his stint with Soft Machine, passed away yesterday. I’ll update this post once the news is properly sourced.

The message boards have been buzzing with the news of Hugh’s passing, and his Wikipedia entry has been updated to mark his death. Sad news.

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Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Jean-Luc Guionnet – Non-Organic Bias (Herbal International)

Malaysian sound artist Goh Lee Kwang began the new year in earnest, with several releases on his labels, Herbal and Why Not. Less enterprising than many labels in kind, and more a boutique project, Herbal International has managed to deal out one of the year’s most absorbing recordings, by French improviser and self-described […]

Harry Miller’s Isipingo – Full Steam Ahead

Cape Town-born bassist Harry Miller was already well-established in London jazz circles, playing with figures like Kenneth Terroade, John Surman and Mike Westbrook, by the time fellow South Africans the Blue Notes arrived on the UK scene in 1966. It wasn’t until about five years later that Miller joined former Blue Notes […]

Soft Machine – Drop

Mention the word “Canterbury” in certain circles and the likely reference is “Soft Machine.” Followers of the group’s transition from quirky psychedelia to a relentless and anthemic jazz-rock hybrid seem split on whether they like their Softs with Robert Wyatt’s otherworldly vocal whimsy or with only his drumming propelling organist Mike Ratledge, bassist […]

FAB Trio and Nu Band on Porter

Bassist-composer Joe Fonda has been a stalwart figure in the international creative improvisation community since the late ‘70s, though his fifteen years of regular appearances with reedman-composer Anthony Braxton probably stand out the most in his lengthy discography. However, it would be incomplete to call Fonda solely a Braxton acolyte – his work with pianist […]

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Interview with Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune Records

From jazzuality.com:

Some people believe in following the market trend will lead to success, but think if everybody does it. Music as a progressive thing needs much more than that to grow. It’s good to see what the market want, but on the other side, we can’t close our eyes to the alternatives and something new in creativity that often come with great skills and amazing music. What I’m saying is, we do really need some source which dare to go against the market trends, so music will keep on having something new to offer.

Thank God we have MoonJune Records. Moonjune came in 2001 as the brainchild of Leonardo Pavkovic, the enterpreneurial producer, tour manager and promoter. MoonJune got its name from “The Moon in June” the Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt’s famous 1970 epic. MoonJune’s focus is to release internationally-situated music by atists exploring the expanding boundaries of genuine, challenging, non-over-produced music that can’t be categorized easily into any specific format. With 28 titles available in the catalogue right now, being reviewed worldwide in over 40 countries, and of course will keep growing bigger, we know that MoonJune is fully commited on the right path and at the same time essential for the music world, especially jazz in particular.

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Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Soft Machine – Drop
Mention the word “Canterbury” in certain circles and the likely reference is “Soft Machine.” Followers of the group’s transition from quirky psychedelia to a relentless and anthemic jazz-rock hybrid seem split on whether they like their Softs with Robert Wyatt’s otherworldly vocal whimsy or with only his drumming propelling organist Mike Ratledge, bassist […]

FAB Trio and Nu Band on Porter
Bassist-composer Joe Fonda has been a stalwart figure in the international creative improvisation community since the late ‘70s, though his fifteen years of regular appearances with reedman-composer Anthony Braxton probably stand out the most in his lengthy discography. However, it would be incomplete to call Fonda solely a Braxton acolyte – his work with pianist […]

Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin – Monk Dreams
“Monkish” is one of those descriptors that’s unavoidable in writing about jazz – Thelonious Monk’s imprint on the landscape of modern jazz and improvised music is huge and, more importantly, incredibly diverse. Odd-interval repetition, rhythmic bounce and dissonant delicacy have come to characterize a large segment of players, and soprano […]

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DMG Newsletter December 5th, 2008

From DMG:

John Zorn’s ‘The Crucible’! 2 from Anthony Braxton! Free Jazz Soft Machine ’71! Harry Miller’s Isipingo! Command All Stars: Evans/Tippett/Dean/Dyani/Miller/Charig! Downes/Godding/Rutherford/Guy/Stevens!

Eskelin/Courvoisier! Grdina/Houle! Davey Williams! Cavallanti, Tononi & Scheinman! Federico Ughi/Daniel Carter! Byard/Eyges! David Sylvian!

MEV (Lacy/Rzewski/Teitelbaum) Box-Set! Pauline Oliveros! Anthology of Dutch Electronic Music Vols. 1 & 2! The Jeweled Antler Collective Box-Set! 4 from Elvis Costello! & the return of the Robert Crumb cards just in time for Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanzaa!

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Moon June Records to Release Archival Soft Machine

6 Soft Machine CDs (2)
Image by svennevenn via Flickr

From Moon June Records:

This CD documents an often overlooked phase in the long and complex history of Soft Machine – Australian drummer Phil Howard‘s five-month interim behind the drum stool between Robert Wyatt‘s departure and his eventual long-term replacement John Marshall. It did last long enough to record half of the studio album “Fifth” (1972) and a couple of BBC radio sessions, but until now no official document of that line-up in its preferred environment – the stage. Howard was brought into Soft Machine by saxophonist Elton Dean, both being members of Elton’s side project Just Us, and under their combined influence the band became freer and wilder than ever before (or after) in its existence, pushing longtime leaders Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper into unchartered areas of electric madness. Before long they’d decided this wasn’t the way to go, but meanwhile the line-up had antagonised audiences throughout extensive tours of the UK and Europe. This CD documents the German leg of the tour and, as veteran music journalist Steve Lake notes in his detailed liner notes, is a revelation – a glimpse of a highly exciting alternative route Soft Machine decided not to explore further.

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Hugh Hopper Having Health and Financial Problems

This information comes from Leonard at Moonjune Records:

Not sure if all of You know that my very dear friend and legendary Soft Machine and Soft Machine Legacy’s bass player Hugh Hopper, had recently, since last June, some health problems and complications that didn’t allowed him to do any gigs since early June. Hugh was suffering from back pain for few years and suddenly in June got worse. Hugh had to cancel concerts in Mexico with Chris Cutler, and 10 shows tour of Japan with Yumi Hara-Cawkwell, and series of his solo concerts, or concerts with Soft Machine Legacy and Delta Saxophone Quartet during the last Summer were compromised. While treating very bad lower back pain, Hugh was having blood tests, and in hospital doctors have discovered beginning of leukaemia and that his blood had very low platelet-count. Hugh started to have an ongoing and painful chemotherapy treatment which was going relatively well but Hugh also suffered from some minor infections after the course finished. Hugh is doing better now, but still in hospital and only occasionally was able to go home. In any case Hugh Hopper has a very positive outlook on life and accepts life in a positive way and we all “hopperfully” hope, this hassle will end as soon as possible.

Sadly, with the lack of revenue resulting from his inability to perform since last June, Hugh and his family (his lovely wife Christine and 13 years old daughter Rosa) are currently in a less than comfortable financial situation – this is the reason for this VERY SPECIAL NOVEMBER SALE by MoonJune Records / MoonJune Global Media, offering all Hugh Hopper related cds for purchase, with profits going to my old friend and one-of-a-kind Hugh Hopper.

100% of the profit from sale of the below mentioned cds will go Hugh Hopper:

HUGH HOPPER “Numero D’Vol”
HUMI (HUGH HOPPER & YUMI HARA-CAWKWELL “Dune”
http://www.moonjune.com

50% of the profit from sale of the below mentioned cds will go to Hugh Hopper:

SOFT MACHINE LEGACY “Steam”
SOFT MACHINE LEGACY “Soft Machine Legacy”
SOFT MACHINE LEGACY “Live In Zaandam”
http://www.moonjune.com

30% of the profit from sale of this particular cd featuring HUGH HOPPER will go to Hugh Hopper::

CHRIS STASSINOPULOUS “Light In The Dark”
Featuring HUGH HOPPER, DAVID CROSS, ALEX FOSTER, BARRY FINNERTY, JOE BERGER and more
http://www.moonjune.com/lightinthedark-N.htm

30% of the profit from sale of the rest of MoonJune Records’ catalog will go to my dear “fuzz-bass” buddy Hugh Hopper.

In addition, The Benefit Concert at the well known London’s 100 Club will be held on December 14th, an idea generated by his colleagues in Soft Machine Legacy, and made possible thanks to John Etheridge and The 100 Club. The entire profit will go to Hugh Hopper. If You can be there, please do so, and buy as much merchandise offered You can afford.
The Benefit will feature some of Hugh’s friends and fellow musicians:
SOFT MACHINE LEGACY (filling for Hugh: FRED BAKER on bass)
DELTA SAXOPHONE QUARTET
PHIL MILLER IN CAHOOTS
BASH QUARTET feat. ALEX MAGUIRE, PATRICE MEYER, FRED BAKER & LIAM GENOCKEY
SOPHIA DOMANCHIC & SIMON GOUBERT DUO
YUMI HARA-CAWKWELL

http://www.the100club.co.uk
http://www.the100club.co.uk/whats_on_detail.asp?event=12/14/08

If You feel to write a post card or letter to Hugh and send any kind of present or memorabilia and express Your love and feelings, You can write to:
Hugh Hopper
29 Castle Road
Whitstable, Kent CT5 2DZ
England, United Kingdom

For more updates, check Hugh’s website: http://www.hugh-hopper.com

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