This 1969 performance finds Soft Machine operating as a trio, with keyboardist Mike Ratledge, drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt, and bass player Hugh Hopper. The material comes from the group's first two albums (simply numbered, as were all Soft Machine studio releases up through SEVENTH). It's amazing to hear Soft Machine pulling of the studio recordings' complex compositional structures-and to hear the musicians cutting loose.
The grooves Soft Machine conjures up can be quite remarkable. A song like "Dada Was Here" has a dazzling array of equally compelling, rhythmically and melodically dynamic passages. The band was to soon add additional players and head in a more decidedly jazz-oriented direction. In this performance, one hears a group of bold and audacious musicians and sees the seeds Soft Machine would continue to sow for another decade.