Land Of Cockayne Original recording remastered
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NEW REMASTERED OFFICIAL RELEASE FOR THE FINAL ALBUM BY
SOFT MACHINE FROM 1981.
ESOTERIC RECORDINGS are pleased to announce the remastered
release of SOFT MACHINE s final album, LAND OF COCKAYNE .
By the time the album was recorded SOFT MACHINE comprised
keyboard player and saxophonist KARL JENKINS and drummer
JOHN MARSHALL. The duo were joined by musicians such as
JACK BRUCE, the returning ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, DICK
MORRISSEY and RAY WARLEIGH among others to produce a
different, but polished album.
This official ESOTERIC CD edition has been re-mastered from the
original master tapes and features an essay by Sid Smith.
Top Customer Reviews
Not a bad way to close that chapter.
It was really Karl Jenkins' solo project, in the sense that he wrote the music and conducted the orchestral backing. In many ways it seemed to be the beginning of him bridging from his background with Nucleus and Softs into the classical idiom. So the record has a different feel to it: it's more mellow and often slower, kind of like soundtrack material, but there's lots of musical knowledge, wisdom and good ideas.
I love the playing of John Marshall on this record, he really nails the percussive moods and grooves and has a big say in the production. I have a few problems with Jack Bruce's bass lines, which aren't too bad but occasionally seem to lack the pace, fire and even texture that one might expect in Softs' material: no more so than the almost banal disco rhythm underscoring the opening track, Over 'n' above. But, hey, it was 1980 and it was pretty high-exposure stuff back then, and I expect that was Jenkins' idea of fun, or context or zeitgeist or.... maybe it was about lifting the audience out of conformist muzak. And it was an intro, which may have attracted non-Softs people or radio play even and then transformed a few consciousnesses.
Those bumps are pretty soon smoothed out on the delicate synth, bass flute and percussive work on Lotus Groves (#2), perhaps an homage to McLaughlin's Lotus feet, but to my mind the musical performance really lifts with Panoramania(#4), which really stays with you: rich and soaring sounds of sax and orchestra and superb snappy drumming, and a great Fender Rhodes solo by John Taylor.Read more ›
In the new digital age when I am replacing and expanding my LP collection in CD format I decided I had a place for this along with the other later albums. I put it on and found that I actually quite liked it.
Once I got away from the fact that Jack Bruce was on there playing what for him is quite pedestrian bass and that others, such as Dick Morrisey are not really making their presence felt and just wen twithit as a piece of music then I reaaly dug it
Yes this could have been a much more exciting project if the various musicians had had more creative and some writig in-put but it was essentiallya Karl Jenkins project with some rather under used sidemen, but on it's own terms it is great!
There is so much of the more meaty jazz-infused Third - Seven eras stuff available and not just the original albums but also a whole range of live sessions from BBC,Radio Bremen etc that it seems quite un charitable to not find room for this as well.
Check it out it may not be hard edged jazz/rock and is certainly not avant garde but it is still really very good
maybe it's not the most creative leading edge jazz funk (bass sometimes leaves a bit to be desired perhaps) but if you like ludicrously steamy strings awash with just the right amount of reverb, then you've picked the right sounds with this delightfully tempered piece of work
highlights for me are the gorgeous string section and Holdsworth's nicely restrained guitar
sit back and relax with a cool drink at your fingers and slip into a warm, phat frame of mind
One look at the players listed here should tell anyone that this not a bland collection of half-baked instrumentals, but quite a feast of surprisingly strong musical sketches. Jenkins leads (as keyboardist and conductor) such talents as the mighty Jack Bruce and Allan Holdsworth and twin sax maestros Ray Warleigh and Dick Morrissey. John Taylor contributes some first class Fender Rhodes, while Softs cohort John Marshall is as reliable and vibrant as ever on drums.
The album is a suite of varied instrumental pieces ranging from appealing, sunny pieces for sax and wordless vocals, melodic ambient excursions, string sections, and strong themes which allow ample time for quality soloing from the giants gathered here. Yes, it is easy on the ear, but it carries a gravitas which relates back to Jenkins' compositions for earlier incarnations of Soft Machine. The extended `Panoramania' and `Hot Biscuit Slim' both recall the joy of a beautifully scored head theme ushering in a collection of solos by musicians who by virtue of their pedigree make every note count. `Black Velvet Mountain' is a wonderful showcase for Allan Holdsworth's ability to get inside a melody, which like his work with the Bruford band of this era, exude the authority of a seasoned player.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not the same as The Soft Machine, The Soft Machine - Volume Two or Third. It is even quite different to the other post- Seven albums and is largely a Karl Jenkins project,... Read morePublished on 23 May 2013 by Numinous Ugo
I've been a Soft Machine fan since John Peel played tracks from their first album on his wonderful radio show in the sixties, but this album is NOT Soft Machine. Read morePublished on 17 Aug. 2011 by RayB
Most reviewers who tackle this LP/album/CD/wax cylinder appear to have a problem in accepting this is to all intents a different beast from the one that first appeared under the... Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2010 by Ianham