I have discovered a drummer that will knock your socks off, his name is Carl Hupp. He has an incredible CD/DVD set entitled Hyper Statue, recently released to kick off the New Year in style. If you are a jazz-rock-fusion fan, I highly recommend starting your musical year off right by getting this CD. I guarantee it will be in common rotation in your stereo all year.
Hupp is an amazingly adept percussionist. He sites Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford amongst some of the key influences in his playing style. By all indications from this recording, he learned very well from his peers. Hupp has 22 musicians involved on this labor of love, which encompassed a two-year period. He was surprised it took that long; however, the results were well worth the wait.
Fusion music is so exciting and interesting to listen to, every time you hear a track on an album like this you pick up something different, whether it is a prolific discovery or a subtle nuance, there is always a new road to travel. For that particular reason, I will listen to a CD like this three or four times before sitting down to gather my thoughts and type them out. The musicianship on this album is incredible! Everyone involved gave all their blood, sweat and tears; I have no doubt about that. I had so many different bands running through my head while listening to this, it prompted many nice thoughts and memories while engaging my listening aptitude to its fullest capacity (several times).
If the CD was not enough (76:47) then there was the DVD (85:10) which was equally enjoyable and full of color and depth. I had so much fun watching the musicians play their individual parts and listening to how it sounded as they added it to each developing track. It gives you an entirely different perception of the process once you go back and listen to the CD again. The studio setting was very informal and relaxed and Hupp even has his 10-year-old son come in to help with wind chimes and percussion.
This entire experience made me feel like I was right there watching my next-door neighbor jam. It was very nice. Notably, bass player supreme Tony Levin showed up to play the Chapman Stick on the title track “Hyper Statue.” That fact only should tell how much respect Carl Hupp has in the music community. This genre is very communal in comparison to others. Super groups are formed and guest appearances are made so frequently it is hard to keep track of who is playing on what album.
I do not know what else to say, I am completely stunned how excellent this production was. All I can say in closing is-if you are looking for rock, blues, jazz, progressive rock, or all of the above combined, played in a superior fashion…this will be one of the very best CDs you will hear in 2005.
January 6, 2005
01. Red Light Syndrome (2:00)
02. Hyper Statue (7:30)
03. Revenge Of The Chair People (5:31)
04. Skeleton Crew (7:04)
05. Five G (5:14)
06. Riff Raff (4:00)
07. Seven For Seven (6:51)
08. The Better Angels Of Our Nature (4:22)
09. Paper Or Plastic ? (7:48)
10. Air-Ride Suspensions (4:07)
11. Black Tie Affair (6:42)
13. Mind Sweeper Part II (5:15)
14. Tagged & Enveloped (5:31)
Carl Hupp: Drums, Percussion, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Brad Chatterton: Guitar, Keyboards
Chuck DeFontes: Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Dave Fairall: Tenor, Soprano & Alto Saxes
Angelo Cammarata: Electric & Acoustic Basses
Kurt Froberg: Keyboards
Stanley Whitaker: Guitar
Clyde Johnson: Congas, Percussion
Kurt Froberg: Keyboards
Ben Sherman: Guitar
Ivan Smart: Trumpet
Tony Levin: Chapman Stick
Justin Hupp: Percussion
Jeff Avery: Guitar
Dave Bell: Guitar
Ron Zebron: Guitar
Charles Wright: Guitar
Mike Pryor: Bass
Dave Capozzoli: Bass
John Thomakos: Percussion
Spike Settles: Harmonica
Paul Soroka: Tenor Sax