Samstag, 29. Juni 2013

Robert Wyatt - Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975)

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.


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)

Freitag, 28. Juni 2013

Robert Wyatt - The End Of An Ear (1970)

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.            


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)

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013

Otto Reutter - Das sind die Sorgen der Republik

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".


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)

Samstag, 8. Juni 2013

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Between Two Worlds (Entartete Musik)

"Between Two Worlds" is another album with music suppressed by the third reich. It is part of the invaluable "Entartete Musik" series that focused on composers and music banned by the Nazis. The title to this album comes from the music Korngold wrote for a film of the same name but it also poignantly refers to Korngold who had to seek exile in the United States because he was Jewish. A mixture of film work and concert repertoire make for a fascinating album.

The term "Entartete Musik" refers to a large exhibition mounted by the third reich propaganda ministry against "degenerate" art and music.


01. The World at War - the Next World
02. The Blitz in London
03. The Pianist at the Piano
04. The Pianist at the Piano
05. Fear - Entrance of the Examiner
06. The Minister
07. The Nazi-collaborator
08. The Young Actress and Her Boyfriend
09. The Journalists Mother
10. The Fate of the Pianist and His Wife
11. The Sound of Breaking Glass
12. The Second Sound of Breaking Glass
13. The Pianist's Wife Begs to be Reunited with Him
14. Return to the London Flat
15. Theme and Variations, op.42
(192 kbps, front cover included)