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Soft Machine - NDR Jazz Workshop - Hamburg, Germany, 1973 CD + DVD
Soft Machine were one of the greatest UK avant/jazz-rock bands of all time and their work continues to be name-checked by today's hip experimentalists.
Released for the very first time here is the Soft Machine's television broadcast, recorded for Germany's famous "NDR Jazz Workshop" on May 17, 1973. This performance was one of the earliest shows by the quartet of Roy Babbington (electric bass), Karl Jenkins (oboe, baritone sax, soprano sax, electric piano), John Marshall (drums) and Mike Ratledge (electric piano, organ). This was a very high profile appearance by the group and for this performance Soft Machine made it a special show. They performed a set of their repertoire in their quartet format and then for the second set they were augmented by two guests: guitarist Gary Boyle (who had just started Isotope) and saxist Art Themen. This addition brings an exciting & different sound to the repertoire and make this more than 'just another live release'. Additionally, Hugh Hopper had just left the group, but he makes an guest appearance (unfortunately audio only) performing 1983; the only known live version of this composition. This long sought-after performance has never been seen since its original broadcast over 35 years ago, not even in poor quality bootlegs. It is the single best quality video document that exists of the group, featuring clear and beautiful visuals and superb live stereo sound. The film footage is so clear and sharp that you can actually see the tape loops that Hugh had set up, hanging from the scafolding next to the band and you can read the address on the box next to Mike Ratledge's echoplex!
You can hear their music here
This is our promotional trailer for the DVD.
Behind Mike Ratledge's glasses are small, black rectangles that reach into infinity.
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Amazing! Now, if we only find footage of Holdsworth's short stint. Very little on You Tube.
[Editor's note: It exists, but just because it exists doesn't mean that it can be released...]
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