SOFT MACHINE — Grides (review)

SOFT MACHINE — Grides album cover Live album · 2006 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Warthur
I'm always more interested in Soft Machine live albums that capture complete sets rather than snippets, so Grides already had my attention since it offers on CD the two Concertgebouw sets they performed in October of 1970, and includes as a wonderful bonus some rare television footage of the band playing a short set in Radio Bremen's TV studios.

What particularly blows me away about the Concertgebouw material is how it not only has absolutely superb recording standards - the mix is pitch-perfect, unlike other Soft Machine live releases where often one instrument or another will either be entirely lost in the mix or dominate proceedings uncomfortably - but how the set opens my eyes to a new way of looking at both the older material in the set (mainly from Third, but there's also a version of Esther's Nose Job from Volume Two reworked to remove vocals), as well as the new material which would eventually see a release on Fourth.

Quite simply, the CD provides an absolutely red hot fusion performance from the four-piece that recorded Third, in which a new vigour is applied to the Third material (which was quite languid in the studio version), and a big dose of rock energy is injected into the material from Fourth, that album being so skewed to the jazz side of jazz-rock that it's basically just a jazz album. (I tend to view it as an attempt to curry favour with the jazz establishment, but I'll save that for my review of it.) Put on a DVD of rare live footage of the band as a bonus on top of that, and you have a fantastic package which Cuneiform should be proud to bring to the public. I'd say, in fact, that it's the absolute best live Soft Machine album from their archival series. Five stars, no question about it.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Flow States Avant-Garde Jazz
MARSHALL ALLEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
That Feeling Soul Jazz
EIVIND AUSTAD
Buy this album from MMA partners
I Love To See You Smile Soul Jazz
3D JAZZ TRIO
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

3D Jazz Trio - Back At The Chicken Shack
3D JAZZ TRIO
js· 16 hours ago
That Feeling
EIVIND AUSTAD
snobb· 23 hours ago
Higher
ANDY SNITZER
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us