Wyatt / Atzmon / Stephen — ...For the Ghosts Within
(Domino DNO 271, 2010, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2011-06-01
Canterbury icon Robert Wyatt steps out of his comfort zone with acclaimed sax man Gilad Atzmon in an unusual collection of light orchestral covers of standards (and a few re-arranged Wyatt classics). The big wins on the recording stem come from the astute ear of Ros Stephen's string arrangements that bathe the listener in a sweet European blanket of lithe violins and cellos. Her band Tango Siempre provides comfortable bedrock for both Wyatt and Atzmon to shine as both soloists and featured artists. Atzmon's Arabic tinged tone is especially recognizable on "Lullaby for Irena" and the creepy title tracks where he imparts subtle nuances for the introductions. Songs from the Wyatt catalogue include an instrumental version of his sprightly tune "Where Are They Now?" and "Maryan" from Shleep. His emotive cover piece "At Last I Am Free" is rendered in an altogether lighter mood too. Standards given this unique treatment including Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and the extraordinary Louis Armstrong classic "What a Wonderful World," where Wyatt's schoolboy vocal is as precious and poignant as ever. Monk's "'Round Midnight" (with whistled melody line) and "In a Sentimental Mood" are also charmingly rendered as well. Overall Noël Coward could find much to appreciate in this collection but it's not as stuffy. Special note: a bonus documentary DVD version of the album is also available that details the unique collaborative process between the artists.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more