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SOFT MACHINE – THE DUTCH LESSON (1973/2023) (Cuneiform Records)

First of all: an audiophile warning- this album was recorded on a portable tape recorder at De Lantaren in the Netherlands on 26thy October, 1973. However, it sounds OK and the line-up is a classic one of Karl Jenkins on saxes, oboe and electric piano, Mike Ratledge on piano and organ, Ray Babbington on six-string bass and John Marshall on drums.

And I am in total agreement with the view that this version of Soft Machine was compositionally and musically every bit as good, if not better, than the original line-up, Make Ratledge, with his unique and influential Lowrey organ sound being the only original member. Babbington’s fuzz bass and Marshall’s jazz standard drumming provided a formidable rhythm section. Enough said.

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