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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Soft Machine - Live in Paris

The Soft Machine was a pioneering English psychedelic, progressive rock and jazz fusion band from Canterbury, named after the book The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs. They were one of the central bands in the Canterbury scene. The Soft Machine line-up of Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, John Marshall and Mike Ratledge lasted under half a year and recorded just one half of an album (side two of "5"). Live in Paris is a rare recording of this quartet during that lineup’s final days; Dean left Soft Machine later that month. It is also a special, rare example of a Soft Machine concert recorded and released in its entirety. Live in Paris shows Soft Machine playing in top form. As Aymeric Leroy points out in the liner notes, the music illustrates main composers Ratledge and Hopper's shift in compositional style…towards looser and more minimalistic themes." The tracklisting consists of works from "Third" and "5" in often significantly different versions, as well as several piece not recorded elsewhere. This excellent quality release is taken from the less than 2 dozen shows performed by this version of the band, and shows that despite such a short life, that this version of the quartet definitely had their own style and sound.

1. Plain Tiffs
2. All White
3. Slightly All The time
4. Drop
5. M.C.
6. Out-Bloody-Rageous
1. Facelift
2. And Sevens
3. As If
4. LBO
5. Pigling Bland
6. At Sixes

Elton Dean: saxello, alto sax, rhodes piano
soft machine - paris 1972Hugh Hopper: bass John Marshall: drums
Mike Ratledge: electric piano, organ



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