Soft Machine

Soft Machine – The Dew At Dawn / (Slightly) Slightly All The Time

Soft Machine - The Dew At Dawn

Fabled jazz-rock group Soft Machine present this heartfelt tribute to one of the greats of British jazz – trumpeter Harry Beckett – covering his stunning “The Dew at Dawn” on this limited edition 7″ vinyl, with a cover of a classic Softs tune on the B side.

This is the second 7″ in My Only Desire Records’ Brit Jazz 45s series, which sees some of their favourite contemporary jazz acts each making brand new studio recordings of two classic compositions from the golden era of ’60s and ’70s British jazz.

Now led by guitar master John Etheridge, an original Soft Machine member since the mid-’70s and Canterbury scene veteran saxophonist Theo Travis, the band has undergone some recent lineup changes with bassist Fred Thelonious Baker (a former Harry Beckett bandmate) joining for 2023’s ‘Other Doors’ album.

This is also the first recording with drummer Asaf Sirkis, who has replaced the late British jazz legend John Marshall.

Etheridge and Travis’ unique arrangement has upped the tempo of the “The Dew at Dawn” (originally released on Ogun Records in 1975) pushing the Caribbean-infused groove to the fore. Beckett’s joyful theme – first played on Etheridge’s guitar and then picked up by Travis’ mesmeric soprano saxophone – evokes the sun rising over the misty Hackney marshes and the hope of a better future. The track is underpinned by Baker’s nimble bass guitar and Sirkis’ scattering drums, with Etheridge’s superb soloing honed over a stellar five-decade career.

“Slightly All the Time” from Soft Machine’s seminal 1970 opus ‘Third’, gets a clever reworking for this 7″, with the sprawling epicness of Mike Ratledge’s original composition, trimmed down to its essential parts, and Travis’ outrageously good flute playing ramping up the ’70s Brit jazz vibes.

  • Limited one-off pressing of 600 copies worldwide
  • 7″ vinyl housed in a reverse-board picture sleeve
  • Mastered by and lacquer cut by Caspar Sutton-Jones @ Gearbox Records
  • Theo Travis: soprano saxophone, flute
    John Etheridge: guitar
    Fred Thelonious Baker: bass guitar
    Asaf Sirkis: drums

    Label: My Only Desire Records
    UPC: 5052442025009 (7″)
    Catalogue Number: MOD007 (7″)
    Release Date: 2 February 2024