Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
BBC Radio 1 in Concert
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Soft Machine caught at their zenith in BBC Radio 1 Studio
J.J. de Man | Rotterdam Netherlands | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A seemingly endless amount of tapes of music by the British `prog-rock band' Soft Machine keeps suprising and delighting us. For those who thought they had to make do with only four albums (One, Two, Third, Fourth) by the prime line-up of the band one gem after the other props up from hitherto unknown tape vaults. `Virtually' and `Noisette' are among the best - live tapes of the musicians caught at their zenith. This particular cd is one of the more amazing items: the core band (Wyatt, Ratledge, Hopper, Dean) in BBC Studio 1 (March 1971) surrounded by a handful of musicians who belonged to the budding jazz-rock incrowd. Among them (in two compositions) power-drummer Phil Howard who was to replace Wyatt a couple of months after this semi-live recording, following the infamous split-up. All the best Softs qualities are presented here. Soul-searching sax melodies, unbelievable pyrotechnics and that typical soaring organ sound... Staggering performances. Soft Machine on stage never were a `tight' band: it sounded a bit rickety now and then, perhaps rather as a result of `group tensions' than free-flowing improvising techniques, but with astoundingly electrifying results nonetheless. Most impressive is the three quarters of an hour medley which serves as a conclusion of the cd, one composition effortlessly segueing the other, including a classic account of `Kings and Queens', an excerpt from `Out-bloody-rageous' - featuring a malfunctioning fuzz on Hopper's bass - and a heartbreakingly beautiful rendition of the fearsome technicalities in `Teeth', all rounded up with a spotless `Pigling Bland'. A classic document of a uniquely gifted quartet, which even now leaves the listener dumbfounded. Not to be missed."