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Soft Works

Canterbury Scene

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Soft Works Abracadabra In Osaka album cover
4.83 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (53:43)
1. Seven Formerly (12:58)
2. Alphrazallan (10:11)
3. Elsewhere (7:12)
4. Baker's Treat (8:46)
5. Calyx (6:22)
6. Kings & Queens (8:14)

CD 2 (51:44)
7. Abracadabra (11:28)
8. Madam Vintage Suite (7:59)
9. Has Riff (9:36)
10. First Train (9:19)
11. Facelift (13:22)

Total Time 105:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Elton Dean / saxello, alto saxophone, Fender Rhodes
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- John Marshall / drums

Releases information

2CD/Digital Album, MoonJune Records, 2020

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SOFT WORKS Abracadabra In Osaka ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SOFT WORKS Abracadabra In Osaka reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars Back in 1970, Soft Machine released their classic album, 'Third'. The line-up at the time was Elton Dean, Mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt, but this would change over the years, even leading to some spin-off groups such as Soft Heap and Soft Head. Fast forward 30 years, and music lover Leonardo Pavkovic took one of the songs from that album as the name for his new label, and soon afterwards was one of the key players in bringing together four musicians to again perform the music of Soft Machine. The result was one album and just 11 dates, of which only a few were recorded. Mark Wingfield has spent many hours attempting to get the already mixed stereo recording from August 11th 2003 into a fit state for release, and at long last he has achieved this, and Leo has ensured the release has been given all the extravagance it deserves. There is an incredibly comprehensive booklet detailing the history of how this all came together, all held in a digipak, with great attention to detail

Soft Works comprised Elton Dean (saxello, alto sax, Fender Rhodes), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Hugh  Hopper (bass) and John  Marshall (drums), and although they had all been involved with Soft Machine, John Marshall was the only person who had actually recorded with the other three in the band, as Allan only joined after both Elton and Hugh had left. Most of the songs are unsurprisingly taken from the album they released as Soft Works, 'Abracadabra', but there are also some early Softs numbers such as "Kings and Queens" and "Facelift", while we also come across Holdsworth's "Alphrazallan", which can be found on his own live album 'All Night Wrong' but was never released as a studio cut. Here we have four musicians who thrive on being allowed to experiment and bounce off each other, with Marshall being sometimes restrained and sometimes everywhere at once, Hopper being refined or playing with the richest and heaviest fuzz known to man, Dean refusing ever to sit in the background when it comes to melodic leads and sheer contrariness and then there is Holdsworth. Allan was always one of the most innovative and experimental guitarists around, pushing boundaries both with his music and musical instruments, and here he is relishing in the freedom that can only exist when everyone involved has total trust in the others.

Mark Wingfield may have had to sweat blood on getting the recordings into a fit state, but one would never know as the sound is quite superb, and it is incredible to hear four masters at play. Since this recording we were fortunate enough to get Soft Machine Legacy, and now Marshall is playing again as Soft Machine with John Etheridge, Roy Babbington and Theo Travis, but would that have happened if they had not been encouraged to do this in the first place? Possibly not. Dean died in 2006, Hopper in 2009 and Holdsworth in 2017, but through this release we can get again marvel at these mighty Softs in their natural environment, on stage.

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