Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Soft Machine expanded and explored an avante jazz fusion with this out-bloody-rageous noisette.   The trio of Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, and Kevin Ayers recorded their first album 'The Soft Machine' in New York while on break from a tour with Jimi Hendrix; and, by the time the second leg of the tour was over in September of 1968, Ayers had departed and the group was defunct.  For legal reasons, they reformed at the beginning of 1969 without Ayers, taking road manager Hugh Hopper officially into the fold to record the proto fusion of 'Volume Two'; and even sat in on sessions for Syd Barrett's 'The Madcap Laughs'.  

By the end of 1969, the trio had brought in four horn players and immersed themselves further in a jazz fusion sound reminiscent of Miles Davis' recent 'Bitches Brew'.   'Third' was recorded  at IBC in London with "Facelift" taken from live performances in Croydon and Birmingham in January 1970.   Robert Wyatt played drums on everything; and, for his composition "Moon in June", he did all of the vocals, plus Hammond Organ, Hohner Pianet, piano, and bass; being accompanied by Rab Spall on violin.  Everything else on 'Third' saw Mike Ratledge playing Hohner Pianet, Lowrey organ, and piano;  Hugh Hopper on bass guitar;  and  newcomer Elton Dean playing alto saxophone and saxello.  The two Ratledge pieces "Slightly All the Time" and "Out-Bloody-Rageous" include Jimmy Hastings on flute and bass clarinet;  and  Nick Evans on trombone.  Lyn Dobson provided soprano saxophone and flute for "Facelift".  

"Moon in June"

full album:

"Facelift" (Hugh Hopper) – 18:45
"Slightly All the Time" (Mike Ratledge) – 18:12
Including: "Noisette" (Hopper), "Backwards" (Ratledge) and "Noisette Reprise" (Hopper)
"Moon in June" (Robert Wyatt) – 19:08
"Out-Bloody-Rageous" (Ratledge) – 19:10

"Esther's Nose Job" – 15:39
"Pig" (Ratledge)
"Orange Skin Food" (Ratledge)
"A Door Opens and Closes" (Ratledge)
"Pigling Bland" (Ratledge)
"10:30 Returns to the Bedroom" (Ratledge / Hopper / Wyatt)

live in Paris 1970

1. Facelift
2. Robert Wyatt Vocal Improv: 19:17
3. Esther's Nose Job: 22:18
4. Eamonn Andrews / Backwards: 33:16
5. Out-Bloody-Rageous: 47:00

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