Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hugh Hopper R.I.P.

I just received the sad news that Hugh Hopper Bassist with Soft Maching and fellow Clear Frame band member has died following a long struggle with Leukeamia..Hugh was one of the most fascinating musicians I have been fortunate to meet on the improv circuit through the coming together of the members of the ClearFrame band. Together with Fellow members Lol Coxhill, Charles Haywood we had performed some well received concerts in the U.K and Europe.
One concert recorded by the BBc Radio 3 team has constantly been one of the most requested concerts for repeat broadcasting by listeners to the popular Jazz on 3 programme for the last 4 years.An album was released by Clearframe with the addition of his fellow Soft Machine cohort Robert Wyatt to critical acclaim..
Hugh was a really funny guy always ready to help anyone in difficulties or just to have a kind word or a smile to reassure you that everything wood be ok!On a Clearframe tour of Austria he had us either in stiches by his observations or entralled with stories about his Soft Machine days and his own prolific projects after leaving the iconic band.
The last time I saw Hugh was with his lovely Wife at the benefit concert in Whitstable where many musicians from the Canterbury scene were performing.Hugh was in attendance and in good spirits in fact he ended up staying a lot longer than anyone had anticipated.A week later there was another benefit held in london at the 100 club featuring yet more musicians that Hugh had worked with in the past.
Hugh leaves behind a fantastic catalogue of work and I will always have fond memories of a humble and kind person plus a giant of the Bass guitar.
For a much more in depth look at his career click on this link::
http://calyx.club.fr/mus/hopper_hugh.html
Jazzwise magazine have written an obituary here:
http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/component/content/article/51-2009/10854-soft-machine-icon-hugh-hopper-dies-

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