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Soft Machine Legacy - Burden Of Proof CD (album) cover


Soft Machine Legacy


Canterbury Scene

3.79 | 47 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars The Softs are back with their first studio album since the passing of Hugh Hopper in 2008, as incredibly it is six years since the release of 'Steam'. The line-up is John Etheridge (electric guitar), Roy Babbington (bass), John Marshall (drums and percussion) and Theo Travis (tenor sax, flute, piano), which has to make it one of the longest serving line-ups in the extremely long history of the band (either as The Soft Machine, Soft Machine, The Softs, or Soft Machine Legacy). They may have been going down this furrow of jazz-fusion for more than thirty years, but they still don't show any sign at all of slowing down or running out of ideas. A special mention must go to Andrew Tulloch who mixed and mastered this album as the sound is incredible, allowing every touch and nuance to shine through.

The album is a combination of pre-agreed structures and melodies with improvisation and the result is a delight from the beginning to end. The interaction between all of the musicians is of the type that only comes with years of playing in this sort of environment, where there is trust between everyone and a firm understanding of what they are all working towards. "Kings & Queens" is a masterpiece of understatement with Roy's simple repeated bassline allowing the others to expand the theme. While on "Fallout" Roy and John Etheridge start the piece linked as one, in perfect harmony and control before they start to expand. Everyone interested in fusion and jazz will have come across Soft Machine sometime in their musical education, and take it from me that 'Burden of Proof' is a more than worthy addition to their body of work.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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