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barnaba.siegel posted a topic in New ReleasesCuneiforme unearthed another live gems from the Soft Machine portfolio. In this time something particulary interesting for fans - not one, but two gigs by a Third-era quintet that lasted only 3 months. Lyn Dobson joins the classic Ratledge, Wyatt, Hopper and Dean line-up doubling Elton on sax, adding flute and even harmonica and vocal. The next interesting thing is the included DVD with a French concert, that is also on CD. It needs to be pointed out, that the video material was previously released as "Alive in Paris 1970", but of lesser quality. Plus the CD covers whole concert for the first time. I've already bought this set so quick thoughts: 1. I wasn't listening to Softs for months, so it's always a funny process of turning an inner audio switch in my ears to accommodate to their harsh, distorted sound. And it's usually not only the tone of hardcore deformed Lawrey organs and Hopper's bass, but also a sound quality. And so is here. Both gigs aren't perfect, I can hear sound deterioration between tracks on the same gig. It's all an B+/A- work, taking on the bootleg scale, but good to keep in mind it's not a clean gig. 2. Well, I must say this famous quintet is kinda overrated. Of course it's great to hear some tunes from "Third" with two saxes, but Lyn Dobson is not doing great on live situations. Not as interesting on sax as Elton Dean, his flute playing, even for the standards set by jazz-rockers (or rock-jazzers) like Bob Downes or this guy from Out of Focus from Germany, is something I'd happily skip, his harmonica playing barely suits this Machine and his vocal works... sheesh... unbearable for me plus doesn't have any delicacy or charm of Robert's singing (btw - Wyatt's gives a serious, noise performance at the end of Paris set, a more Matching Mole level of act). 3. Booklet is surprisingly thin, but there is a huge essay, so considering how many Softs' albums are out there, I guess it's ok. So in overall - well, for sure "a must have for fan", but it wouldn'y be my favorite performance.