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The Soft Machine - Fifth [Aka: 5] CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

3.36 | 239 ratings

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4 stars When I heard that our country prog band DISCUS would do a tour in Germany especially to participate in ZAPPANELLE mid of July, one of the promo said that Discus would share a stage with Soft Machine - I then remember that I have this Soft Machine 5 CD that I never (rarely) played. It's probably because of too much jazz in it. But hey, .. it's okay . nothing wrong with jazz, right? So that's why I pick up this CD to review.

WOW! In fact, I enjoy this CD when I spin it. The opening track "All White" gives a long solo of Elton Dean's alto sax. But it's not just the solo that makes it nice to enjoy: it's the accompanying music in repeated chords that serves as rhythm section. The combined work of Hugh Hopper's bass guitar, Mike Ratledge's electric piano, Phil Howard's drums which makes the song is enjoyable.

"Drop" explores the use of electric piano and its effects, accentuated with sax. At first, it reminds me to Chick Core or Return To Forever. What follows is a dynamic interaction between electric piano, bass guitar and jazzy drumming. Oh yeah . the bass guitar work is excellent, combined with fast snare drum beats. Alto sax enters the music, accompanied with electric piano. The tempo gradually increases into a faster one and a more complex arrangement. The next track "MC" lends similar style with previous one, but instead of electric piano, this song offers drum solo at the beginning which reminds me to avant-garde music.

"As If" is a complex music combining jazz with avant-garde style. It sounds that way during opening part and it continues in mellow style with a touch of saxophone solo and floating electric piano augmented with bass lines. The song continues with sax solo, followed with electric piano solo and some sound effects. "LBO" is a short bridge with the domination of drum solo and accentuated by brass section - like in a big band concept. It's really an excellent drum solo with dynamic variations. John Marshall plays drum on this solo. "Pigling Bland" is a song with beautiful composition - alto sax as soloist. The concluding track "Bone" is another excellent track with contemporary approach .

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection and it's suitable for those who love jazz-influenced prog music. If you cannot tolerate jazz, please do NOT buy this CD. But I leave it up to you to decide.

Life without music is a mistake. Music without progressive is a fatal tragedy!

Yours progressively, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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