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Nothing can prepare you for "Slightly all the time", however. It's as though everything Soft Machine was before this track came together to culminate in their masterpiece. Certainly, the track contains themes heard fleetingly in earlier songs, and live performances stitch the parts of this album together in other ways but this piece goes beyond anything that preceeds it.
In fact, this particular performance has a cool qulaity that most live renderings lack. The buzzing organ and compelling bass notwithstanding, the brass playing is an unusual mix of lively jazz and cool, reflective, lyrical playing. It's at once emotional and thriving.
The song structure is complex, with a memorable bassline and 'jazzy' brass section interspersed with Ratledge's wonderful organ playing, but the highlights on this track are like all the other highlights of the album, moments of true bliss from Elton Dean's lyrical sax.
On "Slightly..." the highlight comes around the 10 minute mark with the most beautiful sax solo I can imagine.
On "Out Bloody Rageous" the same applies. The track starts however with a Terry Rileyesque tape loop that gradually gathers intensity over 5 minutes but then resolves into some Keith Tippett style jazz for a couple of minutes... It's after that the track takes off, however and after a piano figure that will live in your mind forever, Elton Dean transforms the piece in a way that didn't seem possible....Read more ›