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The Soft Machine - Alive & Well - Recorded in Paris CD (album) cover


The Soft Machine


Canterbury Scene

2.89 | 74 ratings

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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a decent live release that was issued when the Softs were going through turnulant times (hence the title), when they wanted to affiirm that they were not broken up ...yet. This album sounds nothing like the previous effort, Rubber Riff, which is a good thing. Only Etheridge, Jenkins, and Marshall survived and made to this album. They decided to add a violinist in the mix aling with a new bass player. The violin definitley makes for an interesting Softs album. Now, on to the review.

Most of the tracks on this release aer again Jenkin's compositions, although Etheridge and Saunders (violin) get to have their own pieces as well. The liner notes also state that the music was directed by Marshall and Jenkins. This live album helps define the new era of Soft Machine that was start around Seven and Bundles, a mix jazz-rock, new age, acid rock, avant-gade, and even dance music. This really is a particularly good live album. The best tracks are Soft Space, an extremely catchy pre-techno techno piece, and Puffin and Huffin, although Saunder's violin piece, Surrounding Silence is excellent also.

If you enjoy the work of latter-day Soft Machine, you should pick up this album. It is definitely an interesting live document that shows Soft Machine during a turbulent time. Although this is the case, they still manage to pull off this great live album. I give it 3.5 stars; it's worth your time.

Zac M | 3/5 |


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