ROBERT WYATT — ´..........For The Ghosts Within´ (with Gilad Atzmon & Ros Stephen)

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ROBERT WYATT - ´..........For The Ghosts Within´ (with Gilad Atzmon & Ros Stephen) cover
3.27 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2010

Filed under Vocal Jazz
By ROBERT WYATT

Tracklist

1.Laura
2.Lullaby for Irene
3.The Ghosts Within
4.Where Are They Now
5.Maryan
6.Round Midnight
7.Lush Life
8.What's New
9.In a Sentimental Mood
10.At Last I Am Free
11.What a Wonderful World

Line-up/Musicians

- Gilad Atzmon /Alto,Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet,Bass Clarinet, Accordion, Flute [Palestinian Shepherd's Flute]
- Richard Pryce / Double Bass
- Robert Wyatt /Voice, Percussion,Backing Vocals.Whistling
- Yaron Stavi /Double Bass, Electric Bass (4)
- Ros Stephen /Violin, Viola,Backing Vocals
- Tali Atzmon /Backing Vocals
- Frank Harrison /Keyboards
- Stormtrap /Voice (4)
- Julian Rowlands /Bandoneon (10)

- Daisy Vatalaro / Cello [The Sigamos String Quartet]
- Rachel Robson / Viola [The Sigamos String Quartet]
- Ros Stephen / Violin [The Sigamos String Quartet]
- Tom Piggot-Smith /Violin [The Sigamos String Quartet]
- Richard Pryce /Double Bass [With The Sigamos String Quartet]

About this release

Domino – wigcd263(UK)

Strings recorded at Eastcote Studio, London
Robert Wyatt recorded at Gallery Studio, London

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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idlero
I was never a Robert Wyatt fan and wasn't 'exposed' too much ( I actually tried a couple of his albums and dropped them) to his music, which in this case may be an advantage because I had no big expectations of this album. `I'm not a jazz musician,' said Robert Wyatt once, `but it's the fountain from which I drink, so I piss some of it out in my records.' Well, I can say he p....ed quite a lot of it in this album in which he collaborates with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, violinist Ros Stephen, and Stephen's Sigamos String Quartet. Atzmon has previously played on Wyatt's albums and collaborated with Stephen on Gilad With Strings, a project honouring Charlie Parker's dalliance with classical orchestration. The 11 tracks include seven jazz standards(Laura, In a Sentimental Mood,What a Wonderful World), two originals(The Ghosts Within being the best IMHO) and two jazzy reworkings of Wyatt originals(Maryan, At last I am free). Wyatt sings on 9 tracks and whistles on one, Atzmon brings the Middle-Eastern flavours on most of the tracks on one or more of soprano and alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet and accordion. The music is dreamy, restrained, reflective, lush, spiced in the right places with Atzmon's Middle Eastern accents. Wyatt's version of "What a Wonderful World" is a very nice surprise too. The approach is unconventional, but the result is beautiful chamber jazz. An album for the late hours of the day.
Sean Trane
A Wyatt collab with saxman Gilad Atzman and also to a lesser extent violinist Ros Stephen (appears on half the tracks, and half of those on backing vocals), as well as a Sigamos String Quartet, From ghosts within is more of standard jazz affair, but more accurately jazz standards. Strangely enough, double bassist Richard Pryce is much more present than Stephen, but doesn't share the bill, but unlike him, he's no "executive producer" and "string arranger". Graced with an artwork in the line of Cuckooland and Comicopera, FGW is now clearly in the Domino Records tradition, sporting a white-rimmed and tray digipak package, which is now the standard for Wyatt reissues, including most of the 70's stuff. Anyway, this album is a mix of jazz standards getting the lounge treatment (nothing to do with Buddha Bar garbage, though) and some original written-for-this-session tracks, which do differ somewhat from the first category of tracks of the album.

Well if you were thrilled by Robert's recent works, don't jump on this one hastily, because it's extremely different and you will probably wonder WTF by the second track onwards. Opening on ELO-type of an intro in Laura, as soon as Robert starts singing, the musical mode shifts in syrupy jazz standards ala third-age lounge music, quite a world away from what Wyatt had gotten us used to. And the original tracks, while not as standardly jazzy, don't have any kind of energy, even when they stray into ethnic ambiance - slightly Arabic on Lullaby For Irena, Bal-Musette on At Last (with its accordion) or Gypsy-inspired on Maryan (Robert's best vocal performance of the album), etc. The only track that sticks out from the lot (especially on the energy level) is the bizarre and sometimes dissonant piece where arte they Now that develops into an Arab-spoken (I think) rap courtesy of Atzman. Overall, the strings have a tendency to over-sweeten what are interesting ideas to start with, but completely flattened by the listless string arrangements. Atzman's wind-instruments playing is easily the best thing on this album.

So better watch out and not jump on the Wyatt product blindly, unless you're actually a couple decades older than Robert, as the closing ultra-standard Ellington (not Ellidgeon ;o))) Sentimental Mood or Wonderful World rendition, not even reprised in an even remotely Canterburyan fashion?. And between Robert and Louis, it's not much a match, with all due respect to Wyatt. A risky bet, but Robert is not one to play it safe, and that's much to his credit.

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