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Soft Machine Legacy - Soft Machine Legacy CD (album) cover

SOFT MACHINE LEGACY

Soft Machine Legacy

 

Canterbury Scene

3.56 | 24 ratings

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toroddfuglesteg
4 stars Well, what do you expect from a band with that name ?

Being a pretty ardent Soft Machine fan, it is obvious that I am attracted to this band as a grizzly bear being attracted to a honey pot. And I do get my honey with this album, although not without some bees on the bargain too.

As with Soft Machine, the line up is important. In this instance, the line up is as strong as it can get. John Etheridge, Elton Dean, John Marshall and the king of bass guitars; Hugh Hopper. It's the Barcelona soccer team of fusion/jazz. This line up off course really let rip on the songs here.

Compared to Soft Machine, where do we put this album ? A blend of Softs and Sixth, in my humble view. You have Elton Dean who really attacks the songs with his woodwinds and you have John Etheridge who plays a more laid back virtuous electric guitar. Behind them, Hugh Hopper rumbles on as usual and John Marshall demonstrates why he is one of the greatest drummers of his generation.

So what's the difference between Soft Machine and Soft Machine Legacy ? There is two main differences. Soft Machine had Mike Ratledge; Soft Machine Legacy does not (Mike Ratledge is now the leading British classical music composer). The other main difference is that, and perhaps because of Mike Ratledge, Soft Machine was much more straight up in your face with a very intense, frantic sound while Soft Machine Legacy is much more laid back. Those are the main differences I have found so far.

Quality wise, the music here is great. Kite Runner starts as a fusion track more towards rock than jazz. Ratlift is a nod and a tribute to Soft Machine. Theta Meter is another great jazz tune where John Ratledge comes to the forefront. The other tracks are great too where they mix fusion with straight jazz.

My overall impression is that this is a great fusion jazz album. But what surprises me most is that these four ex Soft Machine members has not tried to copy what they did in Soft Machine. Yes, this album is a tribute to Soft Machine. But it is not a copycat of any of the Soft Machine album. Even the sound is not a Soft Machine copycat either. Soft Machine Legacy actually have their own sound, their own style and their own identity, besides of being a tribute to the great band. That is a truly great achievement in itself.

For me, this album is rather weak four star, but still an enjoyable album. I love this album more and more, I have to admit and my score took a small jump up to four star during the final two listening sessions out of my customary ten listening sessions.

For all fans of both fusion and the great band called Soft Machine, this is the band and the album for you.

4 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |

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