Dig into this priceless footage of Soft Machine performing an early take of Robert Wyatt’s magnum opus, “Moon in June”. Shirtless and haphazardly composed, the clip is a reminder of Wyatt being a tour-de-force behind the kit prior to his tragic accident (that opened the doors to a remarkable solo career). The spirited performance takes place at 1969’s Jazz Bilzen, a picturesque Belgian event that blossomed during the outdoor festival boom of the late sixties.
With bassist Hugh Hopper rounding out the trio (following the departure of Kevin Ayers), this Wyatt/Ratledge/Hopper line-up is the force behind Volume Two and “Moon in June” landing spot, Third, in which the band plunged further into merging obtuse psychedelia with their singular brew of jazz fusion. Joined by the likes of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Shocking Blue and Keith Jarrett, Jazz Bilzen might have been the perfect setting for the peak of this seminal trio. | m neeley