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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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snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars review originally written for www.jazzmusicarchives.com

The first Soft Machine Legacy studio album is very much a John Etheridge work. Yes, there are at least two original core-members from the original Soft Machine on board - sax player Elton Dean and bassist Hugh Hopper, and fourth member, drummer John Marshall, has a much longer history in the original Soft Machine than guitarist John Etheridge himself.

Even more - half of the material on this release is old Soft Machine compositions, reworked for this album. But the thing I missed most in this album's music is Soft Machine's spirit. All of this music is fully instrumental and balances somewhere between jazz-rock and instrumental rock, but comparing this with the classic Soft Machine sound reveals a lack of complexity and spirit.

On this album four Canterbury Scene veterans play relaxed and a bit unfocused hard rock variations on themes from Soft Machine's legacy. All of these musicians were original members of Soft Machine in different times, and even more strange that they often sound like a quality tribute band. This music is generally straight forward heavy-edged instrumental rock with an overloaded and almost shredding guitar sound. Hopper's bass is somewhere deep under the surface and generally has no influence on the whole sound. Dean's sax solos are sad, uninspired and sound more like attractive add-ons than part of the music. It's a pity that Dean's last released work (he died a few months after this album's release) isn't his best or greatest work.

This album is mostly for Soft Machine/Canterbury Scene collectors and heavy fans.

snobb | 3/5 |

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