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Live In Zaandam

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Audio CD, June 16, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Unlike the current wave of historical recordings, too often released with mixed results, "Live In Zaandam" is a brand new album dedicated to the most legendary band of the Canterbury School: SOFT MACHINE. Captured in the Netherlands on May 1st 2005, this collection of six pieces (In a jazz-rock fusion vein) is performed by a recent reformation known as SOFT MACHINE LEGACY, with Elton DEAN (Saxophone & keyboards), John ETHERIDGE (Guitar), Hugh HOPPER (Bass) and John MARSHALL (Drums). It's interesting to note that, if they were all members of SOFT MACHINE during the Seventies, they never played simultaneously in this band. Apart from the covers of "Kings And Queens" ("Fourth") and John ETHERIDGE's "Ash", all the others tracks were especially composed for the occasion. Add to this that it's a limited edition CD, released as a joint-venture by the Musea and Moonjune labels, and you'll easily understand that this event goes well beyond the Canterbury School lovers. Let's say it straight away: here's certainly one of the two or three essential albums you cannot afford to miss this year ! The actual last studio album of SOFT MACHINE, one of the greatest rock bands since the Sixties, went back thirty years ago. As time went by yet, many reformings happened and some live performances were played... But nothing prepared us to hear a new album someday ! Under the pseudonym of SOFT MACHINE LEGACY, four veterans, whose particularity is not to have ever played in the same incarnation before, are gathered. Jointly published by the Musea and Moonjune labels in 2006, this eponymous album is also the last discographic appearance of saxophonist Elton DEAN, who passed away little time after the recording sessions. Hugh HOPPER (Bass), John ETHERIDGE (Guitar) and John MARSHALL (Drums) complete the outfit. As always, the music of SOFT MACHINE is undefinable, somewhere between jazz, blues and rock, closer to free-jazz this time, with much improvisation. The album includes classics such as

1. Ash
2. 1212
3. Baker's Street
4. Kings And Queens
5. Two Down
6. Big Creese

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: May 1, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Musea/Moonjune
  • ASIN: B0009Y8HZW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pascal Garain on September 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Stellar musicianship of 4 former Soft Machine members - from different periods - who reunited recently and called themselves "The Soft Machine Legacy". I was lucky to attend the concert, saw the gig being taped and am even more lucky now to hear it all over again. My feeling of satisfaction when I walked out of the venue on may 10th was justified when I listen to the recording again now. As Elton Dean plays both the sax and the Fender Rhodes, the keyboard gets less attention but Etheridge's contribution and the amazing rhythm section compensate for that! Hard to believe that merely 150 people (at large!) turned up to hear Hopper's bass resonate in that Zaandam cellar...
-/-
Good set, good playing, good music. Highly recommended for devotees of the jazz-rock / fusion genre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr.Smith on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A very well-done live set by former members of Soft Machine. The band are in top form, especially guitarist John Etherige, whose composition, Ash, opens the set. Another highlight is Hugh Hopper's, Kings & Queens, which made its debut on SM's Fourth. These guys, like a fine wine, just get better with age.
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