Robert Wyatt — Comicopera
(Domino WIGCD202, 2007, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01
Robert Wyatt must truly be the most playful world artist on the planet. His tireless efforts making strong musical statements in pop and jazz format stand up and apart from any other British or US peer, deceased or modern. Proof of the pudding comes in these 16 songs that cover a wide political range with sensitivity accorded only someone who could work from the inside out. Famous cohorts on the cruise include long time friends Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno and Style Council/Ex-Jam front man Paul Weller out front and prominent in the mix. The composer has also brought in additional female vocalists such as Karen Mantler and Monica Vasconcelos and put them to effective use. It’s cover pieces like Anja Garbarek’s “Lost in Noise” and vibraphonist Orphy Johnson’s instrumental track “Pastafari” that widen the scope of Wyatt’s vision making the entire album cohesive and adventurous. The singer’s trumpet playing is also a clear melodic feature in his compositions on most of the tracks. Significant pieces include the steamy Havana jazz of “A.W.O.L.” where old Matching Mole compatriot Dave Sinclair contributes a memorable piano accompaniment. Weller’s two tracked guitar syncs with Wyatt’s solo vocal on “Be Serious,” making it a charming effort followed by joyful steel drumming on “On the Town Square.” In closing, the most prominent Canterbury scene musician has easily surpassed himself and surprised his listeners again.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more