John Etheridge – guitar
Theo Travis - tenor sax, flute, keyboards
Roy Babbington - bass
John Marshall - drums
I am delighted to be touring the UK with Soft Machine in November.
Three quarters of the celebrated 70's version of the legendary group which recorded the acclaimed 'Softs' album in '75 plus me on sax, flute and keyboards is now a well established chapter in this iconic band. We will be playing material from the era (compositions by Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, Karl Jenkins) as well as many contemporary works mainly composed by John Etheridge and myself as featured on our albums - 'Burden of Proof', 'Live Adventures' and 'Steam'.
"Burden of Proof is, to put it mildly, absolutely exquisite. These are four musicians who are masters of their craft, and truly at the top of their game, not only as soloists but as contributors in an actual band. They've put together here a collection of songs that basically has something for everyone; challenging jazz-fusion, adventurous prog-rock, bits of chaotic free-jazz, atmospheric instrumental pop-jazz, and even a little hard rock. Extraordinary!"
5 stars . Pete Pardo. Sea Of Tranquility.org
Having retired to weigh up the evidence, the jury had been out for all of five minutes when it returned the verdict that the burden of proof is conclusively indicative of a resounding guilty; guilty of making probably the finest progressive jazz-fusion record you will hear this year.
In fact, Soft Machine Legacy speak in an all-encompassing musical language that goes well beyond pigeonholing, and with Burden Of Proof they have moved on from Steam to become a fully integrated unit with a near psychic understanding of the collective muse. I can say with some confidence that if you are a lover of progressive music you should definitely buy this now!
9 out of 10. Roger Trenwith. dprp.net
From January 2016
The band formerly known as Soft Machine Legacy was from then on called 'Soft Machine'. The Legacy tag, never in fact legally required, has officially been dropped. SOFT MACHINE is back.
"Soft Machine Legacy" was launched in Turkey in Oct, 2004. The intriguing line-up of Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, John Etheridge and John Marshall was a coalition of 4 long-time servers in different eras of the legendary group Soft Machine, but who had not played before as a unit. With the enthusiastic management of MoonJune in New York - the band quickly established a recording and touring schedule in Europe playing a repertoire of new originals and some vintage pieces. Highlights including appearances at the Umbria Jazz Festival and Leverkusen Jazz Festival (televised).
In 2006 came the sad death of Elton Dean, whose place was taken by young blood Theo Travis, who has a continuing association with Progressive Bands and Artists such as Gong, Robert Fripp, David Gilmour and Steven Wilson and was thus perfectly sympathetic to the music.
After a long illness Hugh Hopper sadly passed away in 2008. A decision was taken to continue with Roy Babbington - thus reuniting 3/5ths of the 1975-77 line up that recorded the acclaimed "Softs" album.
The beauty of Soft Machine's legacy – and of Soft Machine Legacy, the band – is that nearly a half-century after the original group's inception, that legacy is far from stagnant but continues to evolve to this day. Ever since Soft Machine Legacy was first formed, the group has amply demonstrated that it is no mere exercise in nostalgia, lazily mining the Soft Machine back catalog; instead, SML has admirably carried the parent group's spirit of inquiry and exceptional standard of musical excellence forward into the present.
Just as the original Soft Machine was in a state of continual metamorphosis in terms of both personnel and musical approach – shape-shifting over time from a psychedelic pop band, to a proto–prog rock outfit, to pioneers of adventurous jazz-rock fusion, and ranging from trio to septet configurations – Soft Machine Legacy has been in constant flux as members have come and gone, each new arrival placing his distinctive stamp on this musical work in progress. It is a tribute to the open-ended nature of Soft Machine's ingenious compositional frameworks that they can accommodate such a wide range of strong musical personalities.
This is no historical rehashing of Soft Machine, but a living, breathing music that is as vital and revelevant today as it ever was. Both longtime fans and new converts alike can take heart in the knowledge that the Soft Machine family tree -- with its deep roots in the musical revolution of the '60s -- continues to sprout healthy new limbs well into the new century, showing no signs of slowing. ... The legacy is in very good hands, indeed.