Luico Hopper

 

Reflections

 

Luico Hopper is one of those musicians, one has difficulties to find informations about. Even on his website  one doesn't find any informations about his artist history or discography. AMG reveals that he played on Sherry Winston's album Love is and wrote the title Tight Groove, which also appeared on his first solo album. Sherry's album is from 1980, so one can imagine that he is in music bizz since a lot of time. Luico is mentioned in Vol. V #2 of the special periodical Bassics. Well, he played with Gato Barbieri, Jonathan Butler, Brian Ferry, Roberta Flack, Earl Klugh and Luther Vandross to name a few. But how shall you get knowledge of his career, when for example Brian Ferry 's album Girl of my best friend, on which Luico played the bass, was only released 1993 in Japan? His first contact with Brian Ferry was probably August & September 88, when he joined the Surprise North American Tour (34 Dates), starting at "Poughkeepsie" and finishing in Los Angeles. He played in the Saturday Night Live Band too. So his musical experience is really versatile, but not documented. 

As a sideman one is stepping into footlights by releasing a solo album. So did Luico with his first album Lessons Of Light presenting a mixture of Contemporary Jazz, R 'n B and funky elements. His second solo album Reflections smoothed out his style to a Smooth Jazz album in a better sense. One cannot hear any dominating drums of Omar Hakim or Tony "Thunder" Smith" like on his first album, instead sophisticated drum programming. The bass is darker and the stringed funky sound is replaced by a more electric bass sound. You can still hear the bass, but more as a sound then an instrument. Luico has produced the whole album with his current knowledge. He is really a professional.

Starting tune is Odyssey introduced by an atmospheric keyboards landscape as you can hear on George Duke 's Illusions. Lead instrument is Reggie Pittman's muted trumpet. Billy "Spaceman" Paterson adds some Wah-Wah-guitar effects. A tight dark mooded instrumental.

Reflections has some Acid Jazz moments with Brian Carrot's vibes and a heavy acoustic bass background. You must have excellent loundspeakers to catch the lowest frequencies. Maurico Smith adds perfect flute overdubs.

Bill Whither's Lovely Day is a devouring tune, a runner. Luico's cover version is faithful to the original 'til Robert Stevens starts his easyplaying solo on pianosounding keyboards.

For You is similiar to the first tune. An impressing blend of drum programming, electric bass and Reggie Pittman's muted trumpet. Luico perfects the tune with an additional fretless bass overdub.

Leslie is based on a deep propulsing electric bass with Hip-Hop grooves. Really en vogue and radiolike. Outstanding Maurico Smith 's and Steve Bargonetti's solos on flute respectively guitar.

Hidden Treasure keeps the high-professional level of this hooking album on a slow way. Mark Adams attaches some jazzy elements with his piano solo unfortunately quickly outfading.

Don't Hold Back could be the basic idea under which the group is performing this dancable tune. Zane Mark's funky organ and Mark Gross dynamic Alto Sax together with Luico's electric bass give this uptempo piece a hooking drive.

Butterfly is presenting Reggie Pitman's smokey trumpet accompanied by Mark Adams burning vibes accelerating to a hot fire.

On Nathalie Steve Bargonetti proofs his talent as a blessed acoustic and guitar player. Luico plays the upper scale of his electric bass in a runnning way. Mark delivers some accentuated piano tones. 

Reflections shows Luico Hopper at the zenith of his musical creative power as a matured artist. Don't miss this high-grade, recommendable album.

 

 

HBH

 

The musicians:
  • Reggie Pittman  - Trumpet
  • Billy "Spaceman" Paterson - Guitar
  • Robert Stevens -  Keyboards
  • Luico Hopper - Acoustic, Electric, Fretless Bass, Keyboards, Programming
  • Brian Carrot - Vibes
  • Maurico Smith - Alto And Tenor Flute
  • Steve Bargonetti - Guitar
  • Mark Adams - Keyboards, Acoustic Piano
  • Mark Gross - Alto Sax
  • Zane Mark - Organ

 

 

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