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New Soft Machine and Yo Miles! CDs

Cuneiform Records recently released new CDs from avant-jazz-rock group Soft Machine and Wadada Leo Smith (pictured) and Henry Kaiser’s band Yo Miles! The Soft Machine’s Live in Paris, a reissue of live recording caught May 2, 1972 at the Olympia music hall, and Yo Miles!’s Sky Garden were released on May 4.

Soft Machine, whose lineup saw many changes over the years until it disbanded in the late ’70s, is known for its groundbreaking and experimental music. At the time Live in Paris was recorded, the Machine consisted of saxophonist Elton Dean, drummer John Marshall, bassist Hugh Hopper and keyboardist Mike Ratledge. This lineup lasted less than six months, and this release is one of few recorded examples of its minimalist jazz/rock sound.

Live in Paris was originally released on One Way Records, and comes to us remastered and with new liner notes by music journalist and prog-rock expert Aymeric Leroy.

Track list:

Plain Tiffs – 3:30

All White – 6:23

Slightly All the Time – 13:07

Drop – 7:42

M.C. – 2:59

Out-Bloody-Rageous – 13:22

Facelift – 17:50

And Sevens – 8:54

As If – 8:27

Lbo – 6:07

Pigling Bland – 6:04

At Sixes – 10:34

Yo Miles! is a San Francisco-based project piloted by guitarist Henry Kaiser and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and named in honor of Miles Davis. The group concentrates on paying tribute to the late trumpeter’s electric music of the late ’60s and early ’70s. The band lineup pulled together by Kaiser and Smith for the two-disc Sky Garden includes saxophonists John Tchicai and Greg Osby, drummer Steve Smith and special guest percussionist Zakir Hussain, plus an appearance by the ROVA Sax Quartet. (Full personnel and track lists follow.) The two-and-a-half-hour album features original pieces composed by Smith and the band, plus a number of Davis tunes like “It’s About That Time” and “Sivad,” and the Joe Zawinul piece “Directions.” Sky Garden was recorded live in the studio direct to DSD (Direct Stream Digital) and has been issued as a hybrid SACD that offer enhanced audio quality when played on SACD players, but may be played on standard CD players as well.

Track list:

It’s About That Time/The Mask

Jabali (part 1)

Shinjuku

Great Expectations

Directions

Sivad>Gemini Double Image>Little Church

Miles Star

Who’s Targeted?

Jabali (part 2)

Willie Dixon

Cozy Pete

Personnel:

Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet

Henry Kaiser, guitar

Michael Manring, bass

Steve Smith, drums

Chris Muir, electric guitar

Tom Coster, keyboards

Karl Perazzo, percussion

Greg Osby, alto sax

John Tchicai, tenor and soprano sax

Special guests:

Zakir Hussain, tabla and percussion

Dave Creamer, guitar

ROVA Sax Quartet

For more information on Cuneiform Records, Soft Machine or Yo Miles!, visit cuneiformrecords.com.

Originally Published