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SOFT MACHINE (Legacy)'s Journal

Yahoo!Music and president and editor on Soft Machine Legacy & MoonJune Records
Dave DI Martino, Yahoo!Music and president and editor, onn his blog:
A great new recording by the British jazz quartet that aroses from the ashes of the much revered Soft Machine, this marvelous disc features saxophonist Theo Travis as the replacement for the sadly departed Elton Dean, who distinctive sound was a hallmark of UK jazz for nearly 40 years. I strongly advise you to check out this band's work, as well as the other batch of releases from Moonjune Records, or eventually, um, an entire generation will perish! Yeah, that's what record reviews need to be like! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 9/14/2007 12:56 PM
Soft Machine Legacy - Steam ("Back on the right track...")
Soft Machine Legacy - Steam
"Back on the right track..." by Sid Smith
(contributor to Mojo Magazine & author of the book "IN The Court Of The King Crimson")

Soft Machine’s reputation as an innovative outfit grazing between the boundaries of jazz and rock often appeared to weigh heavily upon previous Soft Machine Legacy albums. Some smart soloing aside, they trod a too-familiar path between anodyne back-catalogue readings and run of the mill tunes lacking rigour or surprise. In theory, the notion of Soft Machine Legacy was a bold idea that in practice, lacked vitality and certainty.

The recruitment of Theo Travis following the death of Elton Dean last year, has added some much needed spice to the recipe as well as broadening the audio ingredients available. His use of loops on “Anything To Anywhere” restores both an electronic dimension and compositional complexity that also helped define the Soft Machine of old.

Escaping the “heads plus jam” formula, it’s no coincidence that John Etheridge delivers his most incisive solo of the record on this very track.

Group efforts such as the thunderous scrape of “The Big Man” and the Hatfieldesque twists and turns of “So English” benefit from Travis’ beefy workouts, adding an edge absent on previous Legacy outings. Both as writer and player, Hugh Hopper’s sepulchral menace is undiminished on “Footloose.”

Whilst no one could ever question their right to trade on the name, only now perhaps is there a head of steam capable of producing an album that can stand next to its illustrious forebears. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 9/14/2007 12:51 PM