Fourth

Fourth

Of all the bands that came to fusion from the rock side of the fence, soft machine (the early 1970s incarnation) probably had the most jazz credibility. 

Artist: The Soft Machine

Genre: Rock

Label: Music On Vinyl

Release date:


with British free-sax phenom Elton Dean's status as a full-time member solidified after his participation on 'third', the 'fourth' and 'fifth' albums are the deepest into pure jazz that the band ever got. 'fourth from 1971 finds the band at an interesting junction. It was recorded in the fall of 1970, meaning that, unlike 'third', 'fourth' was made after Miles Davis' fusion innovations had gone public. yet the album does not sound particularly influenced by davis, or even by much else that was considered 'fusion' at the time. actually a lot of it sounds roughly like the band's own innovations on 'third', but with more pronounced john coltrane influences and a number of the rock elements filtered out. this album marked the end of an era for the band, as it was the last soft machine album on which drummer robert wyatt appeared. wyatt had become dissatisfied with the band's direction (he favoured a more rock-based approach and also wanted to sing) and left after recording 'fourth' to form the short-lived matching mole.

About the artist

Soft Machine are a British rock band from Canterbury formed in mid-1966 by Mike Ratledge, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen. As a central band of the Canterbury scene, the group became one of the first British psychedelic acts and later moved into progressive rock and jazz fusion.

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