Tuesday 14 July 2015

Soft Machine. The - Switzerland 1974 (2015)

The latest of many, many archives live albums from this British fusion/jazz band. A band I happens to be a fan of and I also have everything they have released. 

This is the much bootlegged recordings from their gig at the Montreux Jazz Festival. They played alongside the likes of Billy Cobham, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Larry Coryell on that festival. A great lineup.

The Soft Machine was, from top to the bottom, Roy Babbington, Alan Holdsworth, Alan Jenkins, John Marshall and Mike Ratledge. Alan Jenkings is now Sir Alan Jenkins and I think both mr Holdsworth and Ratledge deserve the same honour bestowed on them by our majesty, the Queen. 

That maybe for other reasons than this album though. The band was testing out material for what was to become their classic album Bundles. Great music indeed and it is interluded with some rather disharmonic avant-garde pieces too.

The sound is OK and it is obvious that the job compiling this album was a pretty big one. They have succeeded in creating a historical document here, but not a great live album. That aside, this is a good live album which is neither the best or the worst Soft Machine live album out there. 

3 points 

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