Live In Zaandam
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
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Good set, good playing, good music. Highly recommended for devotees of the jazz-rock / fusion genre.