|Recorded live at Fairfield Hall, Croydon, England on January 4, 1970. Includes liner notes by Aymeric Leroy.
Soft Machine is one of the most interesting bands that came out of England in the '60s. From the group's beginnings as a quirky psychedelic-rock band, Soft Machine evolved into one of the most unique and vital ensembles of fusion (known in the late '60s/early '70s as "jazz-rock fusion"). Soft Machine's sound was a synthesis of the hard-bop (Freddie Hubbard), avant-garde (Ornette Coleman, Rahsaan Roland Kirk) and early-electric (Miles Davis) movements in jazz and the dark, unusual textures of (then) forward-looking rock (King Crimson). Keyboardist Mike Ratledge incorporates the feel of both jazz giant Herbie Hancock and minimalist composer Terry Riley; Hugh Hopper's bass is dense, fuzzed-out, and aggressive; saxophonists Lyn Dobson and Elton Dean enthrallingly weave melodic lines both hypnotic and unsettling; and drummer/singer Robert Wyatt thunders throughout in a manner that would make Tony Williams proud. NOISETTE is especially valuable to fans of the group (and contemporary jazz) as it documents the (previously unrecorded) five-member edition of the band. For fans, essential; for the curious, a good introduction.