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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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4 stars Robert Wyatt's debut was released still when he was a member of Soft Machine (right after release of their "Third" masterpiece). It's difficult to say if this release is related with Robert growing disappointment with Soft Machine's direction. Especially when it's well-known fact that Wyatt wasn't happy with decrease of his singing material on Soft Machine albums and their more jazz-fusion music.

This album is almost pure avant-jazz and there is no traditional singing at all (but there are plenty of experimental Wyatt's vocals though). Released between his departure from Soft Machine and his first band Matching Mule was founded, this album is very different from everything Wyatt recorded till now.

Starting from very first sounds, album brings the listener to free form complex and quirky sound, very close to free-jazz, but with obvious Canterbury scene's psychedelic roots. It's interesting, that even participating such influential musicians as keyboardist David Sinclair, cornet player Marc Charig and especially sax player Elton Dean didn't make this album "band's release". Very personal in atmosphere and with huge accent on original free-jazz drumming, this album is real Wyatt's solo work ( besides of drumming, he plays organ/piano and sings there as well).

Two very experimental form compositions (or two versions of same "Las Vegas Tango") are both opener and album's final song. Seven compositions between them are dedicated to Wyatt's friends each. Very usually Elton Dean's participating on any album leads to his sax becomes main music's attraction, but there it isn't. Dean and Charig play both important part in common sound, but their participation is mostly in interplays with drums and in plenty of ascetic sketches around the whole sound. Wyatt himself is real hero of the day!

Between all compositions of this album only " To Caravan and Brother Jim" ,led by Sinclair melancholic organ, is quite accessible and well-structured. All others are chaotic free-form Wyatt-centered songs,not always essential but always with that magic Robert's emotional beauty.Very soon because of terrible accident Wyatt's life will become different and he will leave drummer chair forever and will concentrates on singing. This album is very intriguing illustration to how different his musical career could be if he would be able to play drums again.

Standing alone most experimental Wyatt's album till now. Not on the same field with his later excellent solo vocalist career, and possibly even more attractive for Wyatt's fans because of this.

My rating is 3,5,rounded to 4.

snobb | 4/5 |


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