Soft Machine -
Alive & Well Recorded In Paris

(CD 1978/2010, 38:36/56:11, Esoteric Records ECLEC 22234)

The tracks:
  1- White Kite
  2- Eos
  3- Odds Bullets And Blades pt I
  4- Odds Bullets And Blades pt II
  5- Song of the Sunbird
  6- Puffin'
  7- Huffin'
  8- Number Three
  9- The Nodder
10- Surrounding Silence
11- Soft Space
  1- K's Riff
  2- The Nodder
  3- Two Down
  4- The Spraunce
  5- Song Of Aeolus
  6- Sideburn
  7- The Tale Of Taliesin
  8- Organic Matter/One Over The Eight
  9- Soft Space Part One
10- Soft Space Part Two

Soft Machine Website        samples        Esoteric Recordings

This is what a remaster should look like! Not only a remaster of the original album, but also a bonus-CD as well as additional live material and some specials, in this case the A- and B-side of a single. Alive & Well, recorded in April 1978 in Paris, shows the jazz rock/fusion of Soft Machine in top form. Despite, or maybe because of the difficult process of getting a band together to make this recording - detailed described in the CD-booklet - keyboard player Karl Jenkins, drummer John Marshall, guitar player extra-ordinaire John Etheridge, new boys bassist Steve Cook, and violinist Ric Sanders are on the top of their game. The original 38 minutes of Alive & Well pass way too quickly. The addition of Sanders makes that this line-up of Soft Machine sounds quite a lot like the famous Mahavishnu Orchestra, which is a nice reference to mention. Karl Jenkins measures up quite well to John McLaughlin making Alive & Well sounds blissfully during a lot of songs. Fortunately, tapes of another concert of this line-up were recently found which now form the bonus disc. These recordings are from Paris in July 1978 with tracks that virtually don't overlap the original album, making this remaster a compulsory purchase for all Soft Machine-fans.

***** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Where to buy?

All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013