One of the most critically acclaimed, far-reaching and influential avant rock bands ever was Soft Machine, named after a novel by William Burroughs. About five years into the band's lifetime, in August 1971, founding member Robert Wyatt left Soft Machine. The band had just released its Fourth album and completed an exhausting period of touring. Wyatt's departure left the band -- then consisting of keyboardist Ratledge, bassist Hugh Hopper and saxophonist Elton Dean -- in disarray. After a few months, Soft Machine recruited rock drummer John Marshall, formerly of the Jack Bruce Band and Nucleus. But the lineup of Hopper, Ratledge, Dean and Marshall would only last a half year. Live in Paris is a rare recording of the quartet of Hopper, Ratledge, Dean and Marshall during that lineup's final days; Dean left Soft Machine later that month. It is also a special, rare example of a Soft Machine concert recorded and released in its entirety. Live in Paris shows Soft Machine playing in top form, their stage performance transcending any internal tensions. Heavily indebted to jazz as well as free improvisation, the band's jazz/rock sound here is at times spare, even minimal, with Dean's free-blowing saxophone often in the fore. In the liner notes, Aymeric Leroy notes that the music illustrates main composers Ratledge and Hopper's 'shift in compositional style towards looser and more minimalistic themes'."