Soft Machine - Drop

SKU MJR 023
This is pretty great to see - finally a full length recording by this very short lived lineup of Soft Machine where after Robert left the band, Elton finally got his dream of having the Softs become something close to a free-jazz outfit. When Hugh and Mike decided this was too radical of a step for them after 5 months, this set up the very rapid change over turnover that completely changed the sound of the band and also led to both Elton and a year later Hugh leaving. So, fairly momentous stuff. Excellent live sound from the band's German tour in the fall of 1971, and interesting notes from Steve Lake. The music is excellent too and documents a truly radical path for a 'rock band' to be taking in 1971...

"This CD documents an often overlooked phase in the long and complex history of Soft Machine - Australian drummer Phil Howard's five-month interim behind the drum stool between Robert Wyatt's departure and his eventual long-term replacement John Marshall. It did last long enough to record half of the studio album "Fifth" (1972) and a couple of BBC radio sessions, but until now no official document of that line-up in its preferred environment - the stage. Howard was brought into Soft Machine by saxophonist Elton Dean, both being members of Elton's side project Just Us, and under their combined influence the band became freer and wilder than ever before (or after) in its existence, pushing longtime leaders Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper into unchartered areas of electric madness. Before long they'd decided this wasn't the way to go, but meanwhile the line-up had antagonised audiences throughout extensive tours of the UK and Europe. This CD documents the German leg of the tour and, as veteran music journalist Steve Lake notes in his detailed liner notes, is a revelation - a glimpse of a highly exciting alternative route Soft Machine decided not to explore further."

"An unsung jazz drums hero, Phil Howard is one of the world's greatest jazz drummers that 99.99% of people have never heard of." “...here is an album to savour. A document of a mighty band with a whirlwind drummer, a very special highlight among the Soft Machine’s invigorating live recordings.”-Steve Lake
  • LabelMoonJune
Your Price $13.00
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