Soft Machine Legacy - Live Adventures
As befits prog-rock legends and pioneers, Soft Machine Legacy do not indulge in nostalgia, even with a live set filled with old classics. "Live Adventures" is truly that: the band digs deep into those old songs and finds new avenues for exploration. This is a record that will serve to remind of the greatness of Soft Machine back in their prime, as well as display the vision and subtle power of a currently active unit.
Guitarist John Etheridge and Theo Travis on sax and flute have most of the juicy roles in the extended improvs on such warhorses as "The Nodder," a very surprisingly funky "Gesolreut," and a version of bassist and original member Hugh Hopper's "Facelift," made more poignant by his passing last year. His replacement though is more than worthy, as Roy Babbington played bass for Soft Machine in the mid-70s and has quite a rep in Jazz fusion circles.
Fusion plays a big role in these songs, especially during the solos, but there is an atmosphere created that is understated but confident, poetic in ways the best prog rock is; this is one of those records that remind you how much you missed a band you never really paid attention to the first time around.
Reformed in 2002 at the urging of composer Leonardo Pavkovic, Soft Machine Legacy has consistently tried to re-envision music they made decades ago, exploring them in ways that approach genius, and with a care that doesn't devolve into reverence. "Live Adventures" remains true to the lore of Soft Machine while adding a postscript that is just as compelling as the original.
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