Soft Machine - Softs

(CD 1976/2010, 45:14, Esoteric Records ECLEC 2202)

The tracks:
  1- Aubade(1:51)
  2- The Tale of Taliesien(7:17)
  3- Ban-Ban Caliban(9:22)
  4- Song of Aeolus(4:31)
  5- Out of Season(5:32)
  6- Second Bundle(2:37)
  7- Kayoo(3:27)
  8- The Camden Tandem(2:01)
  9- Nexus(0:49)
10- One Over the Eight(5:25)
11- Etika(2:21)

Soft Machine Website        samples        Esoteric Recordings

Softs is remembered as the last album with Soft Machine's founding member keyboard-player Mike Ratledge, who only plays a small part on two tracks. The shining star on Softs is new boy guitar player John Etheridge, who replaced guitarist Allan Holdsworth which he did very well as the many blistering solos provide proof of this - listen to Ban-Ban Caliban - and the next piece Song Of Aelos being very contemplative. The other star is of course main man Karl Jenkins, who composed most of the songs. The sound is still reminiscent of the old Soft Machine-sound of the early seventies because of the saxophone work by Alan Wakeman, a cousin of Rick's. At the same time the Passport indications are getting stronger and stronger, giving us an album of smooth jazz-rock as it was called back then, but nowadays we would rather label it fusion. Still, it's very nice that this album is available again and that a new generation of listeners can get acquainted with one of the pillar groups of the jazz-rock. 

*** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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