Saturday, September 30, 2023

Marshall Drums

Soft Machine - Bundles

I've been cleaning up just a few of the too many deaths at the end of the month, so to that end we're gonna honor one of my favorite drum deities, whose life sadly ended just a couple of weeks ago.

Today's memorial honoree was a supremely underrated player if ever there was one, and was a part of a few linchpin bands at the blurring and energized borders of Jazz & Rock.

Of these, he is probably best remembered for having succeeded -- after Phil Howard manned the chair for a bit -- Robert Wyatt as the drummer in the beloved British Jazz-Rock band Soft Machine.

However, it's as the skinsman for bassist Eberhard Weber's seminal ECM group Colours -- alternating with the great Jon Christensen -- that many others know his name.

He also starred with guitar heroes John McLaughlin, John Abercrombie & Barney Kessel, the latter of which who'll be getting the centennial treatment here in October.

One of his crowning achievements took place when he restarted Soft Machine in the 21st Century, with a rotating, All-Star selection of different folks who had played in that group over the decades.

I covered that Soft Machine Legacy band a while back, so if you haven't grabbed that one it can be found right here.

To tribute the passing of drummer John Marshall, I've whipped up two shows: one from Soft Machine and one from Colours, and both from that 1970s peak period.

Soft Machine
Crouse College
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY USA

01 Hazard Profile Pt. 1
02 Hazard Profile Pt. 2
03 Hazard Profile Pt. 3
04 Hazard Profile Pt. 4
05 Hazard Profile Pt. 5
06 The Floating World
07 The Man Who Waved At Trains/Peff
08 The Man Who Waved At Trains Pt. 2
09 bass solo
10 Bundles
11 Four Gongs Two Drums (drum solo)

Total time: 1:03:18

Karl Jenkins - winds, reeds & horns
Roy Babbington - bass
John Marshall - drums & percussion
Allan Holdsworth - guitar
Mike Ratledge - keyboards

1st gen cassette copy of the original WAER-FM pre-broadcast reel
slightly remastered by EN, September 2023

Eberhard Weber's Colours
Amazing Grace
Evanston, Illinois USA

01 introduction
02 Eyes That Can See In the Dark
03 band introductions
04 Seriously Deep
05 Silent Feet 
06 Yellow Fields
07 The Colours of Chloƫ (bonus track)

Total time: 1:17:15

Eberhard Weber - bass
Rainer Bruninghaus - keyboards
Charlie Mariano - woodwinds & flutes
John Marshall - drums

Track 07 is a master off-air FM reel from Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts, Austin TX 3.2.1978
remastered by EN, September 2023

320/48K webstream captured from Wolfgang's Vault
the Evanston segment goes to 20 kHz and is equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, tracked, edited & remastered by EN, September 2023
327 MB & 448 MB FLAC respectively/direct link

In dressing up the 1978 show, I discovered that these 320/48k Wolfgang's Vault postings -- at least the one of this concert, anyway -- are structured to go all the way to 20 kHz losslessly, so I might go back to that well in the future, especially for bands like Colours that don't have any other ROIOs that sound worth half a shit qualitywise.

Anyhow that's it for September... hopefully it contained something to remember. Such as John Marshall, whom we remember today for his super-substantial contributions to the classic continuum.--J.

8.28.1941 - 9.16.2023