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Hopper - Dean - Tippett - Gallivan - Cruel But Fair CD (album) cover

CRUEL BUT FAIR

Hopper - Dean - Tippett - Gallivan

 

Canterbury Scene

3.42 | 17 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well if your into Avant Jazz this might be worth a listen. Avant Jazz mainly based on Dean's insane sax and saxello work but even Tippett at times. A four piece with three legends and sadly all three of them are gone including Hugh Hopper on bass, Elton Dean on sax and saxello and Keith Tippett on piano. Lastly we get Joe Gallivan on drums and synths. This was recorded at The Basement studios in Oslo, Norway surprisingly in October of 2006 the year Elton passed, Hugh in 2009.

Gallivan has never been a favourite drummer of mine by any stretch and unfortunately his electronics in my opinion take away from the music at times. He and Elton composed "Jannakota" and it's solely sax and synths. I know I sound like a complainer but I wish Tippett used the electric piano more. He sounds so good on my favourite track "Square Enough" after 4 1/2 minutes when the song changes. Sax just before 5 minutes and he gets quite dissonant at times as this plays out.

The closer "Soul Fate" has a catchy beat with piano and bass as the sax joins in. Elton is the wildcard here as he takes this tune into Avant territory. "Echoes" composed by Tippett doesn't do much for me. I'm surprised how sparse and mellow it is for the over 8 1/2 minute duration. "Seven Drones" composed by Hopper is the opener and my second favourite. Again Dean is fairly creative here on his instrument. So run for the hills! It's like the piano, drums and sax start out all playing a different song. That changes 4 minutes in as it settles and becomes melodic. Big bass lines from Hugh too. It's turning Avant again after 6 minutes but it's kind of mellow over the final minute.

So a good album but this is more about it not being my thing music-wise.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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