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Soft Machine Legacy - New Morning -The Paris Concert  CD (album) cover

NEW MORNING -THE PARIS CONCERT

Soft Machine Legacy

Canterbury Scene


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Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I can't believe I'm the first one to rate this. If you enjoy Soft Machine LPs "Fourth", "Five" & "Softs", then this DVD is for you! Recorded in an intimate setting, Elton Dean is in excellent free blowing form on the saxello shortly before passing away 2 weeks later. The drummer John Marshall is something to behold. This guy is a monster. Hugh Hopper hits us with a bit of fuzz bass, but is mostly complimentary to the rest of the band. For some amazing fusion guitar, you can't go wrong with John Etheridge here. He's truly an underrated british guitar legend. Get this DVD.

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Send comments to Gooner (BETA) | Report this review (#141071)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars When this legacy line-up reconvened in the early part of the 00 decade, the group had been laid to rest for over two decades, but the previous decade had seen a bunch of posthumous live releases and radio archives that had rekindled the Soft Machine flame. While containing Hugh Hopper in the new line-up (not an original SM member, but coming as close as possible), they wisely chose to add the legacy part to their name. Because if the group was talking the heritage, they didn't want to be SM as such or just sound like their own cover band: they wanted to write new material and maybe pay a little nod now and then to the SM discography here and there. The four members were never together at the same time in SM as Dean had departed the group when Etheridge had stepped in for Holdsworth circa the Bundles/Softs era, but the other three did play together.

And one thing the fan will notice is that the new SML group is certainly living up to its name, as they develop a very dynamic jazz- rock, where the "rock" part is definitely more present than in the Zaandam release of the previous years. The first few tracks are fairly indicative of the spirit of the concert, even if Baker's Treat is much slower, quieter and demonstrative, with Etheridge almost becoming psychedelic. Has Riff, one can feel is homage to As If (on the fifth album) while K1Q is the only undisguised SM track played throughout the set. The crowd is definitely SM connoisseur (not bondage you little voyeurs), but seem to be acting more like a jazz audience: applause after solos and moderate "exuberance" in between tracks. As usual in Francophone speaking countries, Hugh Hopper relates to the public in French (with Eheridge also clowning around) and, at least here, appears in charge of the group. Although Marshall's drum solo is (like all of them) a bit long and disruptive (although Etheridge pulls a semi-metal guitar shredding solo after it), he clearly shows he was SM's best (and longest staying) drummer after Wyatt.

Although when I saw them live very recently (with Theo Travis replacing the departed Elton Dean, the group is still quite at ease with this formula, but on that precise evening, they not only did K&Q (4), but As If (5) and Chloe (6) as well, but Dean's absence means that there is no more keyboards. Nevertheless this DVD is a pure joy to jazz-rock fans and is a must see, even if purists will prefer historical footage in the heydays. But believe this old grumpy fan, the first decade into the new millennium appears to be also heydays for the Legacy line-up..

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#155720)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is some of the best Modern jazz i have ever heard, think Medeski Martin and Wood meets later period John Coltrane. If your not into Coltrane's selflessness or transition albums, forget this. Enough rockish funkified beats here and there , but a lot of avant guard sounds on this. the Soprano saxophone here is top of the line and full of emotion. the guitar especially the last 30 minutes is white hot. and very unorthadox. when i say medeski martin and wood , meets john coltrane, i am not kidding. this is 90 percent modern jazz, and 10 percent rock. since i like jazz ,i liked this, if you don't, you won't,

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Send comments to darkprinceofjazz (BETA) | Report this review (#414360)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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