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Robert Wyatt - The End Of An Ear CD (album) cover


Robert Wyatt


Canterbury Scene

3.19 | 119 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Actually 3.5 Stars

Originated during his time with SOFT MACHINE and 2 years before his momentous fall, Robert Wyatt's first solo album is likely the most challenging piece of music he delivered so far. Experiments with sounds and voice, free-jazz like compositions and improvisations, definitely nothing for friends of rather melodious tunes. Quite odd in my opinion, because that's pretty much the course SOFT MACHINE seemed to steer at the time. Wyatt and SOFT MACHINE broke up because of muscial differences, escpecially Wyatt thought that there won't be place for his influence and vocal performances in the future, when SOFT MACHINE drifts towards pure jazz/fusion. In 1971 HE is the one doing a free-jazz (almost) album with sparse use of his beautiful voice.

Well, the first Song Las Vagas Tango Part 1, a Gil Evans tune, features his exceptional voice. No lyrics, lots of queer sounds, sough and fizzling, accompanied by Piano and aplenty of percussion. I don't know the original, but I guess it's hard to make it out. Other songs don't feature Wyatt's voice, it appears now and then but it's never as present as it is in the first song, unfortunately I've to say. I really love his voice and the way he uses it. Just a little side note: check out BJÍRK's album MÚdulla, Wyatt can be heard on "Submarine", an awesome song. But all other songs are very interesting as well, saxophone, piano and organ improvisations, interesting percussion performances and Wyatt's drumming assure a consistently good album. I want to accentuate the longtracks To Nick Everyone and the terminal Las Vagas Tango part 1 (also featuring "vocals"), they're exceptionally recommendable I think. But just as the rest of the album never a slight fare, though.

Everybody willing to look into a subject like RIO should have listened to The End of an Ear, it features everything that accounts for this particular genre, sometimes very close to free-jazz, though. Wyatt is a great musician and this release proves this point. Highly recommended, but beware: I also think that there are people really hating this kind of music, even amongst prog lovers.

diddy | 3/5 |


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