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.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more