Fourth (Remaster)

SKU: 82876872912
Label:
Sony
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Remastered edition with new liner notes and photos. There isn't any on the planet that knows more about Soft Machine than Steve Feigenbaum. He's very old. When he was 37 years old he went to the Fillmore East to see the band play with Hendrix. It changed his life and he's dressed funny ever since. Perhaps he would dress funny anyway, I don't know for sure. I do know that he loves Soft Machine's fourth album more than he loves sex (or so his wife has told me). Here is what he has to say abou this classic disc:


"For some reason, I think Four has always been the overlooked Soft Machine album. There's probably several reasons for this but that doesn't change the fact that I think that this is tied with Volume Two as their greatest album ever! The tunes were getting more and more complex and astonishing: Mike Ratledge contributed what I consider the band's greatest work ever in the 10 minute long Teeth, while Hugh Hopper was also reaching a peak compositionally. Elton Dean showed the direction that he wanted to go with his free-but-charming contributions and while Robert Wyatt didn't contribute any tunes (or even any vocals - probably one of the reasons that this album is overlooked), his playing, like all the others, was exemplary here. In addition to the great tunes and the great playing from the four members, a number of additional musicians (Marc Charig, Roy Babbington, Alan Skidmore, Nick Evans) appear as guests, adding some great ensemble color. Lastly, but also very importantly, this was always a really good sounding album and it sounds great here too in this remastered version. Utterly essential, important and innovative jazz/rock from when there were no rules to this sound which was being newly invented while they made it!!"

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    $29.00
  • "Death.Taxes.Ozric Tentacles.Since 1984 this loose collective have been releasing reliably great music from the mind of leader Ed Wynne. Their margin of error is enviably tiny – there is no such thing as a bad Ozrics album. Sure, some are better than others, but the body of work is as inescapably consistent as mortality and societal contributions. Technicians of the Sacred is their fifteenth studio album, second double album and the first release in this format since Erpland in 1990. It is also one of the best they have ever recorded.The blend of electronica and inner-space rock is instantly recognisable with ‘The High Pass’. World music and gently undulating synths take their time to ease us back into the required frame of cosmic consciousness. It takes almost 6 minutes for the secret weapon, Wynne’s signature lysergic lead guitar, to be deployed and that is the modus operandi of the whole album – nothing is rushed, each track unfolds lotus-like.‘Changa Masala’ distils all the band’s ingredients into a spicy side-dish. Sequencers, vocal samples and a reggae skank provide the base while acoustic guitar rips like a John McLaughlin solo, interjecting a nod to their past, a musical in-joke for the fans, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet heard it.The Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7 and sometime Ozrics collaborator) influence is foregrounded in the first disc’s closer, ‘Switchback’. Tap-delay guitar slithers over a web of ambient keyboard washes. Portamento bass notes slide and glide their way through the patchouli-scented psychedelic haze.f the first disc was an aromatic treat, then the second is manna. ‘Epiphlioy’ recalls the classic ‘Saucers’. Its serpentine twelve-string acoustic riffs employ Eastern modes to evoke a scene that is paradoxically earthy and otherworldly. Staccato strings conjure Kashmir while a celestial orchestra of whooshing keyboard pads threatens to levitate us into the stratosphere and beyond. We are back in the bizarre bazaar, folks. Brandi Wynne pins down the ethereal mix with a heavy dub bassline. The track changes constantly. This is the most compositionally complex music the band has ever produced.While there are references to Ozric history and a more organic feel similar to early classics with the occasional use of non-electric instruments and ethnic voices, the album as a whole is a step forward. The painstakingly crafted symbiosis of synthesised sounds and rock instrumentation, coupled with a slick production, lend Technicians of the Sacred a holistic integrity not heard since Jurassic Shift (which incidentally entered the UK charts at a very respectable number 11 in 1993). The whole gels together and flows with the multi-layered sophistication of a symphony while retaining some of the jam-band aesthetic of the free festival days.‘Smiling Potion’ features interlocking sequences even Tangerine Dream would be proud of and a tribal metronome-sense beat straight out of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ.As ‘Rubbing Shoulders With The Absolute’ throbs along on a blissed-out dub rhythm artificially generated voices ensure the weirdness meter is kept firmly in the red.Hungarian drummer Balázs Szende makes his first studio appearance and throughout the album he proves to be a superb addition to the group, whether approximating the tight programmed style of The Hidden Step era or, as on the closing track, ‘Zenlike Creature’, tackling elusive prog time signatures with ease and finesse. As Ed Wynne winds up a solo worthy of fusion maestros Mahavishnu Orchestra he introduces a shimmering Hillage-esque repeating motif that stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.Technicians of the Sacred, for all its dynamic shifts and intricacies, is a very chilled-out release, one for relaxing to and for transportation to the other, wherever that may be. There are no jarring wig-out rock guitar hero sections or all-out sonic attacks like ‘The Throbbe’. Rather this is Ozric Tentacles’ most cohesive and accomplished effort in almost 20 years and a highlight of a long and peerless career." - Echoes And Dust
    $35.00
  • Fantastic collection of SWF radio sessions from this one and done German prog trio.  Amos Key was led by keyboardist Thomas Mollin.  The band recorded one album for the Speigelei label in 1974 (still unreissued on CD).  These radio sessions actually predate the recording of the album.If you are fan of ELP, Triumvirat, or even The Nice and Egg you need to check these guys out.  Mollin has monster chops on organ and basically stole from the same classical and jazz sources as Emerson so you get a very similar sound.  I hope Dave Brubeck is getting royalties!  Vocals were not the band's strong suit so they keep them to a bare minimum.  All in all one of the best reissues I've heard in some time.  Highly recommended. 
    $18.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.By the mid-70s Three Blind Mice was loosening up just a little bit in terms of the label's scope.  Ako's Dream is an interesting set that was released in 1977.  Suzuki is a bassist and cellist - on this album he is playing cello.  The lineup features two guitarists - one of which is the incredible Kazumi Watanabe.  Lots of electric piano and (gas) even some synthesizer.  The album consists of four long tracks that really hit a groove particularly on a reworking of Gene McDaniel's "Feel Like Makin' Love" which almost has a funky vibe to it with synth washes that take it into a spacey direction.  Its always fun to hear Watanabe on these jazz sessions, lurking in background and then coming to the fore and tearing it up.  Highly recommended.
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  • New vinyl pressing of the band's magnificent second album.  Remastered numbered limited edition of 500 copies.  Gatefold sleeve and has a nice large fold out poster.
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  • Volto is a new (but long gestating) project from Tool drummer Danny Carey and Pigmy Love Circus guitarist John Ziegler.  The quartet is rounded out by noted keyboardist Jeff Babko and session bassist Lance Morrison.  The quartet have been together for some time playing cover tunes.  They finally decided to cut some original music.  To that end they recorded all analogue and had the album mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Expect great sound.This is a blazing all instrumental effort that fits squarely in the fusion genre but with strong overtones of progressive rock...and maybe just a touch of metal.  Chops from hell are the order of the day but this is highly melodic and never seems to suffer from "toomanynotes" syndrome.  At times Ziegler turns up the crunch factor to good effect and Babko lays down some wonderful solos.  Carey is Carey...awesome!!  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition of the second album is a must own for anyone that was a fan of the first UK album. Some of Mr. Holdsworth's best work. Comes with a bonus track.
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  • Limited release in a mini-LP from the "Deep Jazz Reality" reissue series.  This may in fact now be out of print as we didn't get a complete fill from our order.This is a hell of an obsure release from 1970 from Japanese shino flautist Suiha Tosha and a hell of a rarity.  The first side is all cover tunes but the album features a side long suite titled "Concerto For Shino Flute & Rock Band" written by organist Norio Maeda.  Included in the lineup is Kimio Mizutani on electric guitar, Takeshi Inomata on drums and Shunzo Ohno on trumpet - all of these musicians are stellar.  This is a full electric set featuring a large scale ensemble.  The music skirts the line between jazz and rock.  I'm sure jazz purists would be apalled by Mizutani's distorted guitar leads and rock guys will wince at the use of reeds.  Enough electric piano and Hammond organ to confuse everyone. This one is a real monster.  Highly recommended."Wonderfully tripped-out sounds from the Japanese scene at the start of the 70s – a mix of older folkloric elements and more electric fusion modes – coming together in a really unique sound! There's lots of flute at the front of the tracks – played with an airy, spacious quality that has it drifting nicely over the fuller rhythms at the back – a heady brew of electric bass and guitar, tight drums, and more – all swelling together to make the whole set groove! Yet it's the airiness of the flute that really makes things unique – quite different than some of the funky flute modes from the US or UK scene of the late 60s – with an ethereal charm that's almost timeless. Titles include the side-long "Concerto For Shino Flute & Rock Band" – plus "Across The Universe", "Teach Your Children", and "Celtic Rock"." 
    $30.00
  • Killer psychedelic folk album from this Danish - Swedish band.  It was recorded at the legendary Silence Studios with the equally legendary Anders Lind at the helm.  The band channels the sounds of Kebnekajse and Alrune Rod.  The music has a mystical feel with wisps of flute augmenting echoplex and fuzz driven guitar leads, violin, and swirling organ.  Vocals are in Swedish and given the sound the band was shooting for it fits perfectly.  This one is really quite stunning.  Highest recommendation.The Kama Loka project brought together people from Denmark and Sweden to record an album in the legendary Silence studio. The vocal songs are haunting tales of fantasy and mystery, while the instrumental tracks are intricately hypnotic, all performed by musicians who are able to subjugate the power of their playing with the kind of reverence that can create great music.Skovsoen is the first of five tracks on the album, and it was written by Morten Aron.The musicians who participated on the record are:Morten Aron, vocals, guitarAnders Grön, drums, vocalsAnders Lind, vocalsSnild Orre, fiddle, violin, vocalsTobias Petterson, bass, flute, vocalsSören Pilegård, organ, hurdy gurdy, vocalsAnders Stub, tanpura machinePeter Wallgren, vocals, paintingsMikael Ödesjö, guitar, vocals
    $17.00
  • AdC is the third album from this incendiary Italian fusion quartet.  The previous two albums were a bit more off the wall, bearing some overtones of Deus Ex Machina.  They've toned that aspect of their sound way down.  Mahavishnu Orchestra is an obvious influence but it seems that this time around the band has crafted something that is more of an individual sound - not a copycat band.  The album seems to have just the slightest bit more agression than in the past ie. more energy - not metal.  Cool proggy vibe throughout as well as beatiful frenetic soloing and interplay.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Here's a band that has the potential to blow up big.  Purson is the latest signing to Rise Above Records. Lee Dorrian has a real affinity for sniffing out bands that fit the retro-British sound.  Purson is led by vocalist/guitarist Rosie Cunningham.  This quintet is obsessed with a pure early 70s sound.  Think of a mash up of Black Sabbath, Trees, Julian's Treatment and King Crimson.  Keys are dominated by organ and Mellotron with dual guitar leads.  Pastoral folky passages marry doom laden riffs all whipped together with a Abominable Doctor Phibes feel.  If Hammer ran a recording studio in 1972 it would sound something like this.  Highly recommended."Straight out the gate, UK doom rock newcomers Purson’s debut album achieves something awfully impressive: its own sound. ‘The Circle and the Blur Door" dabbles in the same oh-so-au courant 1970s hard rock circles as Ghost and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, but the similarities end there, as the band takes an unexpected turn towards 60s pop, loopy prog, and vintage horror. A jaunty, carnivalesque organ guides “Well Spoiled Machine”, as Rosie Cunningham’s throaty, knowing voice glides through a thicket of fuzzy riffs, fiery leads, and jumpy drum fills. It’s an eerie, toothsome morsel, and one of a strange album’s strangest moments. Overall, the band’s whimsical, folk-influenced approach is very English (think dark country roads and haunted manors), and not a without a slight undercurrent of menace." - Pitchfork 
    $13.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.I don't know what the back story is on this album but it has to be a funny one.  Easily by far the most out of place release to have come out on Three Blind Mice.  As far as I can tell its the only progressive rock album to have been released by the label.  The cover art would make you think of some weird Japanese pop band but it couldn't be further from that.  Jimmy, Yoko & Shin consists of Jimmy Shironaga (acoustic guitar, electric bass, and vocal), Yoko Sumiya (electric keyboards), and Shin Okabe (drums/percussion).  Apparently they won first prize in the Japanese Jazz Grand Prix.  Perhaps the prize was a record deal with TBM?The album consists of three tracks - one of which is only 3 minutes long.  Large parts of the album sound like outtakes from the first Emerson Lake & Palmer album with an injection of Canterbury.  Interspersed vocals are in Japanese and are based on 1000 year old Japanese literature (as if we would know the difference!).  The whole craziness is sewn together with the wonderful audiophile production that we expect from Three Blind Mice.  Highly recommended.
    $29.00
  • ""In 1963, Miles Davis was at a transitional point in his career, without a regular group and wondering what his future musical direction would be. At the time he recorded the music heard on this CD, he was in the process of forming a new band, as can be seen from the personnel: tenor saxophonist George Coleman, Victor Feldman (who turned down the job) and Herbie Hancock on pianos, bassist Ron Carter, and Frank Butler and Tony Williams on drums. Recorded at two separate sessions, this set is highlighted by the classic "Seven Steps to Heaven," "Joshua," and slow passionate versions of "Basin Street Blues" and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." The 20-bit remastered version issued by Sony's Legacy imprint in 2005 includes two rather startling bonus tracks from the original sessions that were not included on the LP or previous CD releases; they are the beautiful "So Near, So Far," and "Summer Night."" - All Music Guide" - All Music Guide
    $5.00