Archive for June, 2013


An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter.

There was no way that Wyatt’s follow-up to “Rock Bottom” could be as personal and searching, but this album that came barely a year later instead collects some earlier material to be revamped for this release. “Soup Song,” for instance, is a rewrite of “Slow Walkin’ Talk,” written before the forming of Soft Machine. “Team Spirit,” written with Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormick of Quiet Sun, would turn up the same year as “Frontera” on Manzanera’s “Diamond Head”.

While some of the songs tend to plod along, the dirge-like “Five Black Notes and One White Notes,” a lethargic cover of Offenbach’s “Baccarole,” Charlie Haden’s “Song for Che,” and Fred Frith’s piano team-up with Wyatt on “Muddy Mouth” are magical. As usual, the assembled band, including the underrated Gary Windo on sax and Mongezi Feza on trumpet, never dissapoint.

Tracklist:

1. Muddy Mouse (0:50)
2. Solar Flares (5:35)
3. Muddy Mouse (0:50)
4. 5 Black Notes and 1 White Note (4:58)
5. Muddy Mouse (6:11)
6. Soup Song (5:00)
7. Sonia (4:12)
8. Team Spirit (8:26)
9. Song for Ché (3:36)

Robert Wyatt – Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard 1975)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

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An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter.

There was no way that Wyatt’s follow-up to “Rock Bottom” could be as personal and searching, but this album that came barely a year later instead collects some earlier material to be revamped for this release. “Soup Song,” for instance, is a rewrite of “Slow Walkin’ Talk,” written before the forming of Soft Machine. “Team Spirit,” written with Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormick of Quiet Sun, would turn up the same year as “Frontera” on Manzanera’s “Diamond Head”.

While some of the songs tend to plod along, the dirge-like “Five Black Notes and One White Notes,” a lethargic cover of Offenbach’s “Baccarole,” Charlie Haden’s “Song for Che,” and Fred Frith’s piano team-up with Wyatt on “Muddy Mouth” are magical. As usual, the assembled band, including the underrated Gary Windo on sax and Mongezi Feza on trumpet, never dissapoint.

Tracklist:

1. Muddy Mouse (0:50)
2. Solar Flares (5:35)
3. Muddy Mouse (0:50)
4. 5 Black Notes and 1 White Note (4:58)
5. Muddy Mouse (6:11)
6. Soup Song (5:00)
7. Sonia (4:12)
8. Team Spirit (8:26)
9. Song for Ché (3:36)

Robert Wyatt – Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard 1975)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Of all the projects Robert Wyatt created apart from his tenure with Soft Machine and Matching Mole, “The End of an Ear” has to be the strangest, and among the most beautiful and misunderstood recordings of his career. Recorded near the end of his membership in Soft Machine, “End of an Ear” finds Wyatt experimenting far more with jazz and avant-garde material than in the jazz-rock-structured environment of his band.

The Wyatt on “The End of an Ear” (a play on words for the end of the SM era, and another session called “Ear of the Beholder”) is still very much the fiery drummer and percussionist who is interested in electronic effects and out jazz and not the composer and interpretive singer of his post-accident years. Influenced by Miles Davis’ electric bands and the fledgling Weather Report who did their first gigs in the U.K., Wyatt opens and closes the album with two readings of Gil Evans’ “Las Vegas Tango, Pt. 1.” These are the most structured pieces on the recording, and the only ones not dedicated in some way: “To Mark Everywhere,” “To Caravan and Brother Jim,” “To Nick Everyone,” “To the Old World (Thank You for the Use of Your Body, Goodbye),” “To Carla, Marsha, and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller),” and others. The titles reveal how personal the nature of these sound experiments can be.

Wyatt, because of his association with many in the Canterbury scene, not the least of which is SM mate Elton Dean who prominently appears here, was learning alternate structures and syntax for harmony, as well as the myriad ways rhythm could play counterpoint to them in their own language. The interplay between Wyatt, bassist Neville Whitehead, cornet player Marc Charig, and alto man Dean on “To Nick Everyone” is astonishing. Wyatt creates time from the horn lines and then alters it according to Whitehead’s counterpoint both to the formal line and the improvisations. Toward the end of the track, Wyatt’s piano is dubbed in and he reveals just how expansive he views this new harmonic approach. The piano becomes a percussion instrument purely, a timekeeper in accordance with the bass, and the drums become counterpoint – in quadruple time – to everyone else in the band. When David Sinclair’s organ enters the fray and another piano courtesy of Mark Ellidge, as well as assorted percussion by Cyril Ayers, the entire thing becomes a strange kind of rondo in free jazz syntax.

Elsewhere, on “To Caravan and Brother Jim,” a 2/4 time signature opens the track and the organ plays almost a lounge-jazz-type line with drums rumbling in the back of the mix, almost an afterthought, and Ellidge’s piano stumbling in with dissonant trills and riffs until he creates a microtonal line against the organ’s now carnival chords until certain drums fall out, then back in, and the piano plays an augmented chord solidly in glissandi until the piece just sort of falls apart and ends. If you are Robert Wyatt, this is the way you find something new, you “play” at it. And that’s what is so beautiful about “The End of an Ear” – the entire record, unlike the “seriousness” of Soft Machine “Third”, is that this is being played with tonalities, harmony, language, and utterance that are all up for grabs in an investigation of freedom both in “music” and “sound.”

“The End of an Ear” is the warm and humorous melding of free jazz amplification and musicians’ playtime.            

Tracklist:

All tracks composed by Robert Wyatt; except where indicated

Side A
  1. “Las Vegas Tango Part 1 (Repeat)” (Gil Evans)
  2. “To Mark Everywhere”
  3. “To Saintly Bridget”
  4. “To Oz Alien Daevyd and Gilly”
  5. “To Nick Everyone”
Side B
  1. “To Caravan and Brother Jim”
  2. “To the Old World (Thank You For the Use of Your Body, Goodbye)”
  3. “To Carla, Marsha and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)”
  4. “Las Vegas Tango Part 1” (Gil Evans)

Robert Wyatt – The End Of An Ear (1970)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Of all the projects Robert Wyatt created apart from his tenure with Soft Machine and Matching Mole, “The End of an Ear” has to be the strangest, and among the most beautiful and misunderstood recordings of his career. Recorded near the end of his membership in Soft Machine, “End of an Ear” finds Wyatt experimenting far more with jazz and avant-garde material than in the jazz-rock-structured environment of his band.

The Wyatt on “The End of an Ear” (a play on words for the end of the SM era, and another session called “Ear of the Beholder”) is still very much the fiery drummer and percussionist who is interested in electronic effects and out jazz and not the composer and interpretive singer of his post-accident years. Influenced by Miles Davis’ electric bands and the fledgling Weather Report who did their first gigs in the U.K., Wyatt opens and closes the album with two readings of Gil Evans’ “Las Vegas Tango, Pt. 1.” These are the most structured pieces on the recording, and the only ones not dedicated in some way: “To Mark Everywhere,” “To Caravan and Brother Jim,” “To Nick Everyone,” “To the Old World (Thank You for the Use of Your Body, Goodbye),” “To Carla, Marsha, and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller),” and others. The titles reveal how personal the nature of these sound experiments can be.

Wyatt, because of his association with many in the Canterbury scene, not the least of which is SM mate Elton Dean who prominently appears here, was learning alternate structures and syntax for harmony, as well as the myriad ways rhythm could play counterpoint to them in their own language. The interplay between Wyatt, bassist Neville Whitehead, cornet player Marc Charig, and alto man Dean on “To Nick Everyone” is astonishing. Wyatt creates time from the horn lines and then alters it according to Whitehead’s counterpoint both to the formal line and the improvisations. Toward the end of the track, Wyatt’s piano is dubbed in and he reveals just how expansive he views this new harmonic approach. The piano becomes a percussion instrument purely, a timekeeper in accordance with the bass, and the drums become counterpoint – in quadruple time – to everyone else in the band. When David Sinclair’s organ enters the fray and another piano courtesy of Mark Ellidge, as well as assorted percussion by Cyril Ayers, the entire thing becomes a strange kind of rondo in free jazz syntax.

Elsewhere, on “To Caravan and Brother Jim,” a 2/4 time signature opens the track and the organ plays almost a lounge-jazz-type line with drums rumbling in the back of the mix, almost an afterthought, and Ellidge’s piano stumbling in with dissonant trills and riffs until he creates a microtonal line against the organ’s now carnival chords until certain drums fall out, then back in, and the piano plays an augmented chord solidly in glissandi until the piece just sort of falls apart and ends. If you are Robert Wyatt, this is the way you find something new, you “play” at it. And that’s what is so beautiful about “The End of an Ear” – the entire record, unlike the “seriousness” of Soft Machine “Third”, is that this is being played with tonalities, harmony, language, and utterance that are all up for grabs in an investigation of freedom both in “music” and “sound.”

“The End of an Ear” is the warm and humorous melding of free jazz amplification and musicians’ playtime.            

Tracklist:

All tracks composed by Robert Wyatt; except where indicated

Side A
  1. “Las Vegas Tango Part 1 (Repeat)” (Gil Evans)
  2. “To Mark Everywhere”
  3. “To Saintly Bridget”
  4. “To Oz Alien Daevyd and Gilly”
  5. “To Nick Everyone”
Side B
  1. “To Caravan and Brother Jim”
  2. “To the Old World (Thank You For the Use of Your Body, Goodbye)”
  3. “To Carla, Marsha and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)”
  4. “Las Vegas Tango Part 1” (Gil Evans)

Robert Wyatt – The End Of An Ear (1970)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Otto Reutter was a German comedian, coupletist, and singer,  born 24 April 1870 in Gardelegen, Germany, died 3 March 1931 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
This compilation with Otto Reutter recordings was released in the wonderful “Edition Berliner Musenkinder”.

Tracklist:

1: Herr Neureich
2: Kinder, Kinder, sorgt für Kinder
3: Ick Wunder Mir Über Jarnischt Mehr
4: Ein Sachse ist immer dabei
5: Zwanzig Jahre später
6: Widewidewitt Bummbumm
7: Ein bisschen Arbeit muss der Mensch schon haben
8: Bevor du sterbst
9: In der Einsamkeit
10: Ick Wunder Mir Über Jarnischt Mehr
11: Es geht mir in jeder Hinsicht besser
12: Lass’ dir bloss die Nase ändern
13: Das Ist So Einfch Und Man Denkt Nicht Dran
14: Das Sind Die Sirgen Der Republik (Akustisch)
15: Seh’n sie, darum ist es schade, dass der Krieg zu Ende ist (Akustisch)
16: Immer rin in die Landwirtschaft (Akustisch)
17: Das Macht Uns Freude (Akustisch)
18: Wenn ich das grosse Los gewinne (Akustisch)
19: Die Damenwelt (Akustisch)

Otto Reutter – Da sind die Sorgen der Republik
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Otto Reutter was a German comedian, coupletist, and singer,  born 24 April 1870 in Gardelegen, Germany, died 3 March 1931 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
This compilation with Otto Reutter recordings was released in the wonderful “Edition Berliner Musenkinder”.

Tracklist:

1: Herr Neureich
2: Kinder, Kinder, sorgt für Kinder
3: Ick Wunder Mir Über Jarnischt Mehr
4: Ein Sachse ist immer dabei
5: Zwanzig Jahre später
6: Widewidewitt Bummbumm
7: Ein bisschen Arbeit muss der Mensch schon haben
8: Bevor du sterbst
9: In der Einsamkeit
10: Ick Wunder Mir Über Jarnischt Mehr
11: Es geht mir in jeder Hinsicht besser
12: Lass’ dir bloss die Nase ändern
13: Das Ist So Einfch Und Man Denkt Nicht Dran
14: Das Sind Die Sirgen Der Republik (Akustisch)
15: Seh’n sie, darum ist es schade, dass der Krieg zu Ende ist (Akustisch)
16: Immer rin in die Landwirtschaft (Akustisch)
17: Das Macht Uns Freude (Akustisch)
18: Wenn ich das grosse Los gewinne (Akustisch)
19: Die Damenwelt (Akustisch)

Otto Reutter – Da sind die Sorgen der Republik
(256 kbps, cover art included)

The Cuban experience which produced the “nueva trova songs” of Pablo Milanés and Silvio Rodriguez, and which offered support to many nueva canción artists, was unique in the Americas, forging a new tradition of reflection and an expression of self-doubt emotional experience, hopes and beliefs. Elsewhere on the continent, nueva canción at times played a much more direct and oppositional propaganda role.

This abum was released in Cuba in 1975 as a hommage to the people of Chile and the Unidad Popular. Featured artists are Pablo Milanés, Amaury Perez, Silvio Rodriguez and others.

On this album you find an interesting version of “Plegaria a un labrador” by Los Cañas – originally done by Victor Jara and Quilapayun.
 
(128 kbps, cover art included)

The Cuban experience which produced the “nueva trova songs” of Pablo Milanés and Silvio Rodriguez, and which offered support to many nueva canción artists, was unique in the Americas, forging a new tradition of reflection and an expression of self-doubt emotional experience, hopes and beliefs. Elsewhere on the continent, nueva canción at times played a much more direct and oppositional propaganda role.

This abum was released in Cuba in 1975 as a hommage to the people of Chile and the Unidad Popular. Featured artists are Pablo Milanés, Amaury Perez, Silvio Rodriguez and others.

On this album you find an interesting version of “Plegaria a un labrador” by Los Cañas – originally done by Victor Jara and Quilapayun.
 
(128 kbps, cover art included)

The “Premier Festival Del Nuevo Canto Latinoamericano” took place at the National Auditorium in Mexico City between March 30 and April 4, 1982, in collaboration with UNESCO and “Casa de las Americas”. The album features songs by Roy Brown, Quilapayun, Amparo Ochoa, Daniel Viglietti and others.

Tracklist:

01. América Latina – Nicomedes Santa Cruz
02. En la vida todo es ir – Roy Brown
03. Flor de metal – Los Flokloristas
04. Espigas de libertad – Lilia Vera
05. Siringuero – Luis Rico
06. El sombrero azul – Alí Primera
07. Luz negra – Quilapayún
08. Cuando salgas luna llena – Noel Nicola
09. Epitafio a Juan ‘N’ – Amparo Ochoa
10. Las hormiguitas – Daniel Viglietti
11. Somos los hijos del maíz – Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy y Mancotal
12. Canción con todos – César Isella

VA – Premier Festival Del Nuevo Canto Latinoamercano (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Jacques Brel’s third album was his first to be conceived and recorded from the position of indisputable fame paved by the success of “Quand on N’a Que l’Amour” two years earlier. It also remains, so many years later, his most understated and, in turn, underrated.

Only one of the songs herein, “Litanies Pour un Retour,” has seen anything approaching a high-profile English-language version (by Marc Almond), while a mere handful of its contents have appeared on subsequent compilations. Yet in many ways, it is the finest of Brel’s Philips-era albums, bearing songs which may not have been raised to classic status by future translators, but are nonetheless remarkable for all that.

“Dites, Si C’etait Vrai,” a poem first released on the “Quand on N’a Que l’Amour” EP two years earlier, is especially astonishing, oozing mystery in both the churchy accompaniment and Brel’s dark tones. Two arrangers contributed to the album – Andre Popp and Francois Raubert; indeed, the latter would also step up to share co-composition credits with Brel on five of the album’s nine tracks (Gaby Wagenheim would be co-credited on a sixth, the jaunty “Le Colonel”). For anybody familiar with Raubert’s earlier work with Brel, it was doubtless no surprise to discover these to be the most flamboyant efforts in sight, with “Dors Ma Mie, Bonsoir” a virtual epic of concert piano and soaring strings, and broken into veritable mini-movements as well. From the same pens, “Litanies Pour un Retour” offers a delicate shopping list of an unnamed lover’s virtues, while “La Lumiere Jaillira” drifts to stately organ, a cathedral of sound around a cavernously echoing voice. The most potent statement of the Brel/Raubert partnership, however, is “L’Homme Dans la Cite,” which nudges the same fascination with revolutionaries and messiahs that flavored “Le Diable” on his debut. It is the accompaniment which captivates, however, rattling along to an understated military drumbeat while the orchestra builds almost imperceptibly (but, ultimately, unmistakably) behind the vocal, a sublime bolero.

Jacques Brel – Au Printemps (1958)
(256 kbps, cover art included)