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Soft Machine: Hidden Details

Read "Hidden Details" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Hidden Details celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Soft Machine's 1968 eponymous debut, a seismic event in the British psychedelic, jazz and rock music landscapes that still reverbates as the Canterbury scene/sound. This anniversary studio celebration also brought about Soft Machine's first tour of North America since 1974, with several 2018 shows featuring Gary Husband as guest performer on either drums or keyboards. First assembled in 1966, Soft Machine has become a landmark British (if not global) progressive musical ...

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Soft Machine at the Beachland Ballroom

Read "Soft Machine at the Beachland Ballroom" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Soft Machine Beachland BallroomCleveland, OH October 18, 2018 A disco ball may have been spinning at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland Ohio, but this was no dance party. Instead, Soft Machine brought their brand of progressive jazz-rock to the venue with the energy of a band a fraction of its age. The band came to the Ballroom as part of an international tour celebrating the release of Hidden Details (Moonjune), the band's first ...

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Soft Machine: Hidden Details

Read "Hidden Details" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

From leading the psychedelic '60s charge with Pink Floyd to a more experimental, free rock/jazz stratagem that incorporated whatever sound caught its collective musical ear, Soft Machine included, over the course of nearly two decades, a colorful cast of eccentrics, like guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Andy Summers, drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt, bassist Hugh Hopper, and fuzz organist maestro Mike Ratledge. Nearly four decades later, Soft Machine still makes a far ranging, far flung sound like no other. Most aware ...

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Soft Machine: Hidden Details

Read "Hidden Details" reviewed by John Kelman

Following a series of releases for Moonjune Records under the moniker Soft Machine Legacy, beginning with 2005's Live in Zaandam and concluding, most recently, with 2013's Burden of Proof, this quartet consisting largely of members from the classic Canterbury group Soft Machine has finally decided to drop the “Legacy" and go it with the original name alone. And why not? For a group that began in the mid-'60s and, over the next 15 years or so, released eleven ...

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Soft Machine: Switzerland 1974

Read "Switzerland 1974" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Much has been written about this vastly influential and time-honored jazz fusion unit that skirted the avant-garde spectrum, especially when saxophone great Elton Dean was in the band, in addition to its psychedelic persuasions during the 60s. This 1974 live concert in Switzerland, features soon-to-be guitar god Allan Holdsworth's entry into the band's lineup. At this time, keyboardist Mike Ratledge loomed as the only founding member of the unit. These historic performances are supplemented by the concert footage DVD, underscored ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Switzerland 1974

Read "Switzerland 1974" reviewed by John Kelman

Thank goodness for Cuneiform Records. Beyond releasing cutting edge new music from now-longstanding groups like The Claudia Quintet and relative newcomers like Norway's Pixel, the intrepid American label continues to unearth, restore and release wonderful archival finds like S.O.S.' Looking for the Next One (2013), and the equally impressive Flashpoint: NDR Jazz Workshop-April '69 (2011), from one of the group's reed players, John Surman. Perhaps its most important work on the archival front has, however, been in sourcing live music ...

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Soft Machine: Tales of Taliesin: The EMI Years Anthology 1975-1981

Read "Tales of Taliesin: The EMI Years Anthology 1975-1981" reviewed by John Kelman

With the release of Bundles (Harvest, 1975), Soft Machine moved more definitively into the riff-based fusion territory that keyboardist/reed man Karl Jenkins had begun pushing the band since his arrival on Six (Sony, 1973). With reeds becoming increasingly less dominant, and the group's only remaining founding member, keyboardist Mike Ratledge, relegated to a backline position, this incarnation--distanced completely from the minimalist-informed, free jazz-centric, but still high volume and rock-edged classic quartet that recorded albums like the seminal Third (Sony, 1970)--truly ...


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