Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hugh Hopper, RIP.

Hugh Hopper, 1945-2009.

As a rule I pretty much hate jazz, so it was a huge surprise when I walked into Downtown Music Gallery one Saturday afternoon several years ago and found myself completely entranced by the music of Soft Machine. Maybe it was the fusion of rock and jazz that opened it up for me. I can tell you this: part of the charm was the fffbuzzy tone of the bass player Hugh Hopper. He's known for that tone, but as a player he could play as tight or as open the as song the needed. Engines full-on, he followed the song, although it was Soft Machine so sometimes the song followed him. No matter the tune, Hugh Hopper was always right where he needed to be. Luckily for those listening, it was never where we expected.

Soft Machine in action in 1970.

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