Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Hopper, Hugh (Colin)

Hopper, Hugh (Colin), bassist, composer, author; b. Whitstable, UK, 29 April 1945.He grew up in Canterbury, UK. Hisi father is Leslie Hopper,  b. 21 July 1915, Canterbury, UK, and his mother is Ada (nee Powell), b. 15 December 1910, London, UK. His brother, Brian Hopper (b. 3 January 1943, Whitstable, UK), plays sax and guitar and is a composer. Self-taught and beginning a musical life in the mid-sixties, Hopper was one of the original founding spirits behind the Canterbury school of progressive rock/fusion music that produced influential groundbreaking bands like Soft Machine, Gong and Caravan.

Starting with Wilde Flowers, he went on to become bassist and writer with Soft Machine during their most successful period, playing/composing on the first six albums and touring countless miles in Europe and America.  Leaving the Softs in the mid-seventies he branched out into varied projects like Yamahta's East Wind, Isotope, Carla Bley Orchestra, and groups under his own name as well as continuing a recording career that mixed experimental solo efforts with a wide range of collaborations with other jazz and fusion players.  He continues to tour and record today in Europe and the States - more prolifically than ever.  Recent international bands/projects include Hughscore, Bone and Softworks, and new collaborations with singers Lisa S. Klossner and Julian Whitfield.

He has two daughters, Nancy Hopper (b. 1979) and Rosa Janet Hopper (b. 1995).

Recordings:
1984 (1973); Cruel But Fair (1976); Hopper Tunity (1977); Monster Band (1979); with Alan Gowen: Two Rainbows Daily Red (1980); Mercy Dash (1985); Meccano Pelor (1991); Passed Normal 5 (various artists) (1992); Hugh Hopper and Odd Friends (1993); Alive! (1993); Hooligan Romantics (1994); with Kramer: A Remark Hugh Made (1994); Unsettled Scores (various artists) (1995); with Mark Hewins: Adreamor (1995); Caro El (1995); with Alan Gowen: Bracknell-Bresse Improvisations (1996); with Richard Sinclair: Somewhere In France (1996); with Kramer (1997); Hughscore: Highspot Paradox (1997); The Mind In The Trees (1998); with S. Klossner: Different Blueprint (1998); Hughscore: Delta Flora Cuneiform (1998); Parabolic Versions (2000); with S. Klossner: Cryptids (2000); Swimmer (2000); Hughscore: Canterbury and Beyond (2001); Glass Cage (2001); Jazzloops (2002)

As sideperson:
Kevin Ayers: Joy Of A Toy (1969); Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs (1969); Soft Machine: Volume Two (1969); Third (1970); Fourth (1971), Fifth (1972), Six (1973); Stomu Yamashta: Freedom Is Frightening (1973), One By One (1974); Isotope: Ill.Ion Gull (1974); Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom (1974); Isotope: Deep End (1976); Soft Machine: Triple Echo (1976); Carla Bley: European Tour 1977 (1978); Gilgamesh: Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into (1978); Soft Head: Rogue Element (1978); Soft Heap: Soft Heap (1979); Mother Gong: Robot Woman (1981); Robert Wyatt: Las Vegas Fandango (1981), Work In Progress (1984); L'equipe Out: L'equipe Out (1987); Patrice Meyer: Dromadaire Viennois (1987); Phil Miller/In Cahoots: Cutting Both Ways (1987); Soft Machine: Live At The Proms (1988); Anaid: Belladonna (1990), Four Years (1990); Soft Machine: The Peel Sessions (1990), In Concert (1990), Live (1990) As If (1991); Oh Moscow: Oh Moscow (1991); Daevid Allen: Twelve Selves (1993), Live 1963 (1993); Short Wave: Short Wave Live (1993), Passed Normal 7 (various artists) (1993), Live In Concert (1993); Robert Wyatt: Mid Eighties (1993); Conglomerate: Precisely The Opposite Of What We Know To Be True (1994); Richard Sinclair: Rsvp (1994); Soft Machine: Bbc 1 Live In Concert (1994); Wilde Flowers: The Wilde Flowers (1994); Robert Wyatt: Flotsam Jetsam (1994), Going Back A Bit (1994), Sea Song (1994); Brotherhood: Pride (1995); Caveman Hughscore: Caveman Hughscore (1995); Gizmo: Eyewitness (1995);  Soft Machine : Live At The Paradiso (1995), Live In France (1995); Kramer: Jmusic For Crying (1996), Still Alive In 95 (1996); Mashu: Elephants In Your Head? (1996); Soft Machine: Spaced (1996); Gary Windo: His Master's Bones (1996); Pip Pyle: Seven Year Itch (1998); Soft Machine: Virtually (1998), Live 1970 (1998); Brainville: The Children's Cr. (1999); Soft Machine: Noisette (2000), Man In A Deaf Corner (2001); Various Artists: Canterbury Tales (2001); Soft Machine: Backwards (2002), Facelift (2002); Softworks: Abracadabra (2002)

Radio and television broadcasts:
Many European TV and radio broadcasts, particularly 1969-73 with Soft Machine. BBC John Peel sessions, Radio Bremen (Germany), Europe 1 (France), VPRO (Holland), BRT (Belgium) etc.

Film soundtracks:
One By One (1974) Soundtrack music with Stomu Yamashta's East Wind.

Unissued recordings:
Many bootleg tapes, videos of Soft Machine concerts 1969-1973 and all other live bands since then. 1985-2002: about 50 hours of videos of European bands (Franglodutch Band, Equipe Out, Shortwave, Oh Moscow etc).

Bibliography:
Herman te Loo: Ex-Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper 'Goes Dutch', in: Jazz Nu (Nov.1991)
Mike Barnes: Bites. Hugh Hopper, in: The Wire, #143 (Jan.1996)

Many other articles, interviews, profiles in: Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Sounds, Ptolemaic Terrascope, Mojo, Q, The Wire, Expose', Progression, Rock et Folk, Hort Zu, Improjazz, Facelift, Musiche, Canterbury Nachrichten, Rubberneck, Vermont Review, Big Bang, AMG, etc.

Awards:
Grand Gidouille de la Societe' Pataphysique (jointly)

Websites with profiles, interviews:
http://www.rubberneck.co.uk
www.musart.co.uk
http://www.people.a2000.nl/arotshui/sm-index
calyx@club-internet.fr
http://perso.club-internet.fr/calyx/
http://www.fireflies-in-the-dark.net/
http://www.btinternet.com/~rubberneck/hoppercds.html

Contact information:
hhopp@ukonline.co.uk

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