Exposé Online banner

Soft Machine Legacy — Live Adventures
(Moonjune MJR036, 2011, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2011-06-01

Live Adventures Cover art

With the sad passings of Canterbury icons Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, the reformulated quartet continues to carry on convincingly in the vein of the great icon of British Jazz. Now led by the voices of Theo Travis' saxophone and John Etheridge's guitar, the group is more adept at covering a myriad of jazz and compositional styles new and historical. The gigs comprise two 2009 European shows, appearing to be the best of each set for the quartet. "Has Riff II" is an organic group improvisation that opens up the live set in floating ambient mode led by Travis' flute. The piece compares well to Jade Warrior before Etheridge tears it up with drummer John Marshall. The guitarist's own compositions work better on the live stage with "Grapehound" and "In the Back Room" showing much of the characteristic finesse he has come to champion in his long career. Travis' own compositions take the group in a different but alluring direction as well. The group is keen to pull from early and later compositions from the catalog, including those by Karl Jenkins: "The Nodder," "Gesolreut" and "Song of Aeolus" from 1976's Softs. Marshall's excellent cymbal work begins the first piece while Travis emotes the melody line previously played by violin. Bassist Roy Babbington has stepped back into the fold on firm footing as evidenced by his rooted playing across the disc. In summary this live band is not only the closest thing we have to classic Soft Machine but also furthers the legacy without tainting it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Soft Machine, Soft Machine Legacy / Soft Works, Theo Travis, John Etheridge

More info
http://softmachine-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/live-adventures

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Laren d'Or - War of Angels – The same veiled (an under-promoted!) Hungarian label that is teasing us with Talizman, and After Crying, now goes to the other side for a symphonic keyboard recording by Laren d'Or. A solo project?...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues