Patrice Meyer

Born : December 18th, 1957 - Strasbourg (France)
Past Bands : Patrice Meyer Trio/Quartet, Hugh Hopper FrangloDutch Band (1989-96), Pip Pyle's Equip'Out (1994-95), Richard Sinclair's RSVP (1994-96), Tertio (1994-96), John Greaves Roxongs (2000-02)
Current Band : Pip Pyle's Bash (2002-), Patrice Meyer Trio, Hugh Hopper FrangloBand (1999-), Didier Malherbe Trio/Quartet (2000-)

A Short Bio:

Patrice Meyer started his career as early as 1973, playing in jazz-rock bands in the Alsace region, and later joining Jacques Thollot's band. In the early 80's, he formed a guitar duo with Philippe Petit, and started playing sessions and gigs with variety singers. In 1983, he released his first solo album, "Racines Croisées", which contained solo guitar pieces, as well as duets with keyboard player Patrick Morgenthaler, and trio pieces with Henri Texier (bass) and Jacques Mahieux (drums).

In 1984-85 Meyer came into contact with the Canterbury via a series of chance meetings. "I first met Pip Pyle in 1984 in Lillers, where my duo with Mimi Lorenzini shared the bill with Soft Heap. After jamming together a few times, I asked Pip to join me and Patrick Morgenthaler in a trio. In the meantime Pip had formed Equip'Out, and that's how I first met Hugh Hopper, and eventually he joined too, and that's how the Patrice Meyer Quartet was born in 1986".

That line-up toured extensively and was featured on one side of Meyer's second solo album, Dromadaire Viennois (1987). A real gem, it sadly has yet to be reissued on CD. The second side was equally tasteful but was made with a totally different team of musicians, including Didier Malherbe as well as a few famous French jazz musicians (Henri Texier, Jean-Paul Céléa...). During this period there were also one-off line-ups involving Equip'Out pianist Sophia Domancich. "Actually I'd met Sophia before Pip, around the time of her duo with Ann Ballester in 1982-83".

In 1989, Meyer joined Hugh Hopper's Franglo-Dutch Band, of which he has been a mainstay ever since alongside saxophone player Frank van der Kooij. He is featured on the live set Mecano Pelorus (1992) and the mostly studio albums Hooligan Romantics (1993) and Carousel (1995), occasionally contributing his own compositions to the band's repertoire.

Now an honorary member of the Canterbury 'family', he also toured with Richard Sinclair's RSVP band in June 1994 (with Didier Malherbe and Pip Pyle) and with Pip Pyle's Equip'Out circa 1995 (with Elton Dean and Paul Rogers). Another collaboration with Pip Pyle during that period was the trio Tertio with organist Emmanuel Bex.

In the 1990s, Meyer collaborated with the Parisian ensemble Polysons on reworkings of Beatles songs. He also guested at Polysons' performances of Soft Machine classics featuring Hugh Hopper, in St.Germain-en-Laye and Annecy in December 1998 and March 1999 respectively. Meyer is also still involved in Hopper's regular band, now a quartet called Franglo Band, featuring Polysons member Pierre-Olivier Govin (sax) and drummers François Verly or Manuel Denizet.

In July 1999 there was also a one-off gig at Jacky Barbier's club in Bresse-sur-Grosne with the most unusual line-up of Meyer, Hugh Hopper, Pip Pyle and John Greaves! This led to his involvement in Greaves' new electric trio, for live gigs in 2001-02. He is also playing in Didier Malherbe's trio/quartet alongside percussionist Philippe Foch, during breaks in Hadouk Trio's activities.

Among Meyer's recent activities are also a quartet featuring clarinet player Sylvain Kassap, and an acoustic trio with Jean-Luc Ponthieux and Pierre-Olivier Govin. He also has plans, at last, for a third solo album, to be recorded in a trio format (guitar-bass-drums), possibly with a sax player guesting. He insists that it will have to be a totally live recording, with no overdubs, in reaction to what he perceives as an increasingly computerised musical environment.

Another "Canterbury" group featuring Patrice Meyer is Pip Pyle's new quartet Bash, also featuring Fred Baker (bass) and Alex Maguire (keyboards), which debuted in 2002 and released its first album Belle Illusion in May 2004. This CD is certainly one of the all-time highs in Meyer's recorded output.

June 2005 saw Meyer featured as part of the Tritonales festival in Paris, appearing with the Didier Malherbe Trio as well as his own electric trio with Rémy Chaudagne (bass) and Jean-Baptiste Cortot (drums). The repertoire consisted largely of his own compositions, such as "Fasila", "Horny Brownie" and "Bashee-Bouzouk". In June 2008, he appeared at the same festival with the Patrice Meyer/John Etheridge Quartet, performing their respective compositions as well as several Soft Machine pieces from Softs and Alive And Well.