Search - Hopper, Dean, Tippett :: Cruel But Fair

Cruel But Fair
Hopper, Dean, Tippett
Cruel But Fair
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Alto saxophonist Elton Dean and bassist Hugh Hopper established their reputations with the groundbreaking jazz-rock band Soft Machine in the '70s and have continued to be strong forces in the British free-jazz scene. On th...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Hopper, Dean, Tippett, Gallivan
Title: Cruel But Fair
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: One Way Records Inc
Release Date: 9/19/1995
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 046633137324

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Alto saxophonist Elton Dean and bassist Hugh Hopper established their reputations with the groundbreaking jazz-rock band Soft Machine in the '70s and have continued to be strong forces in the British free-jazz scene. On this excel1ent 1995 release, they team up with pianist Keith Tippett and drummer Joe Gallivan to create a wide-ranging program of bristling, exploratory jazz and innovative electronic music. Gallivan plays synthesizer in addition to his propulsive, pulse-oriented drums, and on several cuts ("Jannakota" and "Rocky Recluse") the music drifts into beguiling electronic soundscapes. These serve as interludes for the more energetic and fiery pieces featuring Dean's singular sax and Tippett's dense, multilayered piano. Dean's distinctive alto and the seldom-played saxello both project a plaintive, vocalized sound, equally adaptable to the frenzy of "Seven Drones" or the calm of "Echoes." This ability to shift emotional gears, shared by the group as a whole, results in a collective music that is both spontaneous and cohesive. --Wally Shoup

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CD Reviews

Where softer angels fear to tread
A. Dutkiewicz | Norwood, South Australia Australia | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although credited with a release date of 1995, this album came from much earlier, 1976. It was originally released when Soft Machine was running out of puff (or was heading that way) and after bassist Hopper's involvement with Isotope had wound down.The album moves from an interplay of synthesiser and jazz saxophone at the opening of "Seven drones" through a much less frenetic and cooler aural field than the guitar-based fusion of later Softs.Tippett's presence, as always since his first high-profile appearance on King Crimson's Lizard, lifts the production to a very high level, and provides a more conventional, albeit lateral thinking, keyboard basis for the group's sound. Ex-Soft Machine member Dean's saxophones are lush and lyrical. Much of the music lies close to early Weather Report in style and textures.The music hots up gradually and gets extremely powerful in places with sensational rhythmic drive. There are some excellent seemingly free-form interplays between electric piano and drums and sax and synth, provided by the drummer, Gallivan, rather than Tippett. Two or three tracks are really wild, some of my all-time favourite jazz fusion efforts.A great record for lovers of experimental jazz who aren't blind to the possibilities of synthesiser in jazz."
Improv Jazz Fusion late 20th Century Group
Carl Johnson | Detroit, MI United States | 03/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hugh Hopper/Elton Dean are two of my favorite Jazz/Rock/Fusion players. This record is from an experimental band from the 1980's - 1990's that Hugh & Elton had put together. The playing is excellent. Compositionally, it is somewhat loose. Seven Drones is a great piece, but it uses anything but dronish effects! The moods move very well in this piece. Some of the most satisfying pieces are Bjorn Free and Soul Fate, which are mellow is contrast to the other pieces. This music has a familiarity similar to Soft Machine from the early seventies. Strong percussive chart type melodies, with complex harmonic configurations. Square Enough Fire leaves this impression very strongly. Check out Mercy Dash To. Great spin!"