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jueves, 9 de junio de 2016

Robert Wyatt - The End Of An Ear (1970)


"The End of an Ear" es el álbum debut de un tal Robert Wyatt, no sé si lo ubican, y nos lo reseña y comparte una tal Vicky, tampoco sé si la ubican. Luego de casi fundar la escena Canterbury, creando grupos como The Wilde Flowers, Soft Machine y Caravan, Wyatt la nza en 1970 su experimental debut como solista. Para más información, vengan y entren al post, que para algo Vicky lo hizo.

Artista: Robert Wyatt
Álbum: The End Of An Ear
Año: 1970
Género: free jazz
Duración: 47:02
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Las Vegas Tango Part 1 (Repeat) (8:13)
2. To Mark Everywhere (2:26)
3. To Saintly Bridget (2:22)
4. To Oz Alian Daevid and Gilly (2:09)
5. To Nick Everyone (9:15)
6. To Caravan and Brother Jim (5:22)
7. To the Old World (Thank You for the Use of Your Body, Goodbye) (3:18)
8. To Carla Marsha and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller) (2:47)
9. Las Vegas Tango Part 1 (11:07)


Alineación:
- Robert Wyatt / vocals, drums, piano, organ, producer

With:
- Mark Ellidge / piano
- David Sinclair / organ
- Marc Charig / cornet
- Elton Dean / alto saxello
- Neville Whitehead / bass
- Cyril Ayers / assorted percussion







Aquí tenemos el primer disco del genio de Robert Wyatt, grabado mientras aún estaba en Soft Machine (entre los discos “Third” y  “Fourth”). Para este álbum lo acompañan su hermano Mark Ellidge en el piano, David Sinclair (Caravan), Marc Charig, Elton Dean (compañero suyo en Soft Machine), Neville Whitehead y Cyril Ayers. En lo personal,  considero este disco toda una obra de arte. Considerando  lo que el propio Robert cuenta sobre la relación con sus compañeros de Soft Machine en aquella época y lo limitado que se sentía, daría la impresión de que en el álbum vuelca un torrente de creatividad e impulsos expresivos que no habían tenido lugar en la banda. De hecho, él mismo diría en una entrevista que este disco es muy importante para él ya que le abrió nuevos caminos hacia los cuales quería dirigirse musicalmente. Es un álbum muy personal, cuenta con dos versiones de “Las Vegas Tango Part 1” (de Gil Evans) bastante deformadas y el resto de las canciones, compuestas por él, están tituladas con una dedicatoria.


De esta forma, entre las dos versiones distintas de “Las Vegas Tango Part 1”, que abren y cierran el disco, tenemos en el medio la serie de dedicatorias. Para empezar, me parecen muy destacables las reinterpretaciones de “Las Vegas Tango Part 1”. Es interesante el scat que hace Robert, con esa voz tan particular que tiene, y el efecto percusivo que consigue. La primera, “To Mark Everywhere” está dirigida a su hermano, que dicho sea de paso hace un trabajo excelente en el piano. “To Strictly Bridget” está dedicada a Bridget St. John, cantautora que tocó con Mike Oldfield y Kevin Ayers. Me parece especialmente interesante la línea de bajo que hace Neville Whitehead. Luego de un abrupto final continuamos con “To Oz Alien Daevyd And Gilly”, refiriéndose a Daevid Allen, quien fue uno de los primeros miembros de Soft Machine, y que junto con Gilli Smyth (Gilly) fundó el grupo Gong. “To Nick Everyone” está dedicada a Nick Evans, el trombonista que tocó con Soft Machine y también con King Crimson en Lizard. Y por supuesto, “To Caravan And Brother Jim” está dedicada a Caravan y a Jimmy Hastings. Me encanta el trabajo de David Sinclair en el disco, el órgano en esta canción o en “To Carla, Marsha And Caroline” debe ser de los momentos más bellos y tranquilos, donde se calman un poco las aguas de este turbulento océano de expresión humana.  Seguimos con “To The Old World (Thank You For The Use Of Your Body, Goodbye)”, la cual está dedicada a Kevin Ayers y The Whole World. “To Carla, Marsha And Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)” está dirigida a la pianista de jazz Carla Bley (quien colaboró, además de con Robert, con Pink Floyd, Jack Bruce, entre otros), Marsha Hunt y Caroline Coon (activista política, periodista y artista).

Dejo por aquí también la versión de "Las Vegas Tango" de Gil Evans: 



Me pregunto cuál habrá sido la repercusión, en su momento, en el mundo del rock de este álbum totalmente desquiciado, derribador de cualquier barrera convencional e infinitamente conmovedor. Claro que se estaban haciendo muchísimas cosas sumamente innovadoras, pero no sé si son tantas las que, en 1970, fueron tan arriesgadas como esta obra.

Dicho sea de paso, uno podría pensar el nombre del álbum como un juego de palabras entre “the end of an ear” y “the end of an era”. En el primer caso, va muy bien con el disco porque puede ser que haya sido el fin de varios oídos! La otra opción podría referirse bien a la ruptura con Soft Machine que se estaba viniendo o por qué no a la naturaleza experimental del álbum. De todas formas, ésta es una gran sobreinterpretación mía, mejor no me hagan caso jeje.

Igual creo que es en vano cualquier cosa que diga sobre el álbum, para deleitarse con la belleza de éste hay que sumergirse en él y dejarse llevar por los diálogos entre cada instrumento. Quizás este comentario que encontré por ahí sea el que mejor lo describa:
Libertad absoluta. Divino tesoro. Lisergia y pintas de cerveza. Nervio inagotable. Scat realizados desde el otro lado de la Vía Láctea. Banda sonora ininteligible. Ni falta que hace. Territorios aún por descubrir. Dedicatorias y agradecimientos a tutiplén. Febril exaltación de la locura antes del genial batacazo. Abstracciones burbujeantes. Dadaísmo entreverado con Nueva Orleans... “

Víctor Hugo 

Este es uno de mis discos favoritos de Robert (el primer puesto lo tiene Rock Bottom :P) y considero The End Of An Ear como otro trabajo esencial en su discografía. Espero que lo disfruten mucho! Y no se olviden de agradecerle a Moe!

Unos comentarios más:

"Look at the date of original release and you realise this has to be an influential album, especially on the RIO movement. It was a real and unexpected surprise at that time if you consider the work done then by Wyatt largely within the confines of Soft Machine. Appararently, Wyatt was being marginalised with Soft Machine prior to being fired. So is this album a riposte, to show he could be as free as Machine intended going (although on record you'll only really hear Machine in free mode, on the recent Soft Machine "BBC 1971-74") or something contrary to the brilliant but seemingly out-of-place avante rock of "Moon In June" (on "Third"). "End of An Ear" is experimental and musically new, although to be progressed with Matching Mole. Its use of percussion, tape loops with friends dropping by to add their parts was innovative in the rock world - many of the tune tiles acknowledging friends in the Canterbury Scene. I find it great that Hugh Hopper has return to this method of recording on his most recent 'Jazzloops' and 'In a Dubious Manner' releases, as well as with Wyatt for a couple of tracks on "Solar Flares Burn For You" - and rumours have it Hopper is collaborating with Gary Lucas with similar experiments.
dick heath
 This is one of those albums that seems to divide opinions, largely on the basis of the extraordinary 'Las Vegas Tango', which opens and closes the proceedings. Wyatt was unhappy with the new direction that Soft Machine were taking at the time, which was towards purely instrumental jazz fusion. On the sleeve he refers to himself as 'out of work pop singer', and he was to leave the Softs after 'Fourth'.
The album contains no songs as such, and is dominated by Wyatt's version of 'Las Vegas Tango', a Gil Evans composition (Gil Evans was probably most famous for his work as arranger on Miles Davis albums like Sketches of Spain). Not so much a cover version as a radical deconstruction, Wyatt sings all the horn parts and also accompanies himself on drums and keyboards. It's a unique, bravura performance, one of the most extraordinary demonstrations of the power of the human voice in prog, but it's not easy listening.
Sandwiched in between the two halves of Las Vegas Tango are a series of mostly instrumental pieces which feature a strong free jazz influence. Elton Dean and Mark Charig get to cut loose in a manner that anticipates the dual horn interplay on Henry Cow's first album, or recalls the experimentation of pioneers like Ornette Coleman. The drumming is superb throughout, and in parts you can hear elements of Matching Mole - the track To Carla Marsha and Caroline would be reworked as 'Instant Pussy' on the first Matching Mole album.
I'd recommend this album to anyone interested in the more left field experimental rock that would later become known as RIO. This is as experimental as Robert Wyatt ever got in his own right, and repays careful listening."
Syzygy

"Originated during his time with SOFT MACHINE and 2 years before his momentous fall, Robert Wyatt's first solo album is likely the most challenging piece of music he delivered so far. Experiments with sounds and voice, free-jazz like compositions and improvisations, definitely nothing for friends of rather melodious tunes. Quite odd in my opinion, because that's pretty much the course SOFT MACHINE seemed to steer at the time. Wyatt and SOFT MACHINE broke up because of muscial differences, escpecially Wyatt thought that there won't be place for his influence and vocal performances in the future, when SOFT MACHINE drifts towards pure jazz/fusion. In 1971 HE is the one doing a free-jazz (almost) album with sparse use of his beautiful voice.
Well, the first Song Las Vagas Tango Part 1, a Gil Evans tune, features his exceptional voice. No lyrics, lots of queer sounds, sough and fizzling, accompanied by Piano and aplenty of percussion. I don't know the original, but I guess it's hard to make it out. Other songs don't feature Wyatt's voice, it appears now and then but it's never as present as it is in the first song, unfortunately I've to say. I really love his voice and the way he uses it. Just a little side note: check out BJÖRK's album Médulla, Wyatt can be heard on "Submarine", an awesome song. But all other songs are very interesting as well, saxophone, piano and organ improvisations, interesting percussion performances and Wyatt's drumming assure a consistently good album. I want to accentuate the longtracks To Nick Everyoneand the terminal Las Vagas Tango part 1 (also featuring "vocals"), they're exceptionally recommendable I think. But just as the rest of the album never a slight fare, though.
Everybody willing to look into a subject like RIO should have listened to The End of an Ear, it features everything that accounts for this particular genre, sometimes very close to free-jazz, though. Wyatt is a great musician and this release proves this point. Highly recommended, but beware: I also think that there are people really hating this kind of music, even amongst prog lovers."
diddy 
"Robert Wyatt's debut was released still when he was a member of Soft Machine (right after release of their "Third" masterpiece). It's difficult to say if this release is related with Robert growing disappointment with Soft Machine's direction. Especially when it's well-known fact that Wyatt wasn't happy with decrease of his singing material on Soft Machine albums and their more jazz-fusion music.
This album is almost pure avant-jazz and there is no traditional singing at all (but there are plenty of experimental Wyatt's vocals though). Released between his departure from Soft Machine and his first band Matching Mule was founded, this album is very different from everything Wyatt recorded till now.
Starting from very first sounds, album brings the listener to free form complex and quirky sound, very close to free-jazz, but with obvious Canterbury scene's psychedelic roots. It's interesting, that even participating such influential musicians as keyboardist David Sinclair, cornet player Marc Charig and especially sax player Elton Dean didn't make this album "band's release". Very personal in atmosphere and with huge accent on original free-jazz drumming, this album is real Wyatt's solo work ( besides of drumming, he plays organ/piano and sings there as well).
Two very experimental form compositions (or two versions of same "Las Vegas Tango") are both opener and album's final song. Seven compositions between them are dedicated to Wyatt's friends each. Very usually Elton Dean's participating on any album leads to his sax becomes main music's attraction, but there it isn't. Dean and Charig play both important part in common sound, but their participation is mostly in interplays with drums and in plenty of ascetic sketches around the whole sound. Wyatt himself is real hero of the day!
Between all compositions of this album only " To Caravan and Brother Jim" ,led by Sinclair melancholic organ, is quite accessible and well-structured. All others are chaotic free-form Wyatt-centered songs,not always essential but always with that magic Robert's emotional beauty.Very soon because of terrible accident Wyatt's life will become different and he will leave drummer chair forever and will concentrates on singing. This album is very intriguing illustration to how different his musical career could be if he would be able to play drums again.
Standing alone most experimental Wyatt's album till now. Not on the same field with his later excellent solo vocalist career, and possibly even more attractive for Wyatt's fans because of this.
My rating is 3,5,rounded to 4."
Snobb
"The debut solo album from Wyatt while he was still a member of Soft Machine. For a guy who didn't like the direction Softs were going in, he comes up with music not too far removed from what Softs themselves were doing at the time. The music here is very jazzy and avant-garde; it sounds influenced by Zappa and influential to Henry Cow. Robert does wordless vocals and plays drums and keyboards. Of the guest musicians, the two most noteable are Softs saxophonist Elton Dean and Caravan keyboardist David Sinclair. Apart from two interpretations of "Las Vegas Tango"(written by sometimes Miles Davis arranger Gil Evans), the rest of the song titles are dedicated to somebody.
The first part of "Las Vegas Tango" has multi-tracked and speed altered Roberts imitating some of the instruments from the original. Almost entirely vocals/drums/electric piano. Some of the drumkit sounds recorded at different speeds. "To Mark Everywhere" sounds like something from Zappa's Uncle Meat. Steady drumbeat, some repeated vocal parts and very free and whiny saxes for the first half. Studio manipulated drums and sound effects for the next half. "To Saintly Bridget" has nice echoed whistling. Acoustic upright bass, sax and Wyatt's syncopated drumming makes up this track.
"To Oz Alian Daevid And Gilly" is dedicated to Daevid Allen and Gilly Smith of Gong. This is a free jazz/avant-garde piece similar to what Softs were doing at the time. Wyatt's drums are heavily echoed in "To Nick Everyone," which sounds very improvised. More sax and upright bass with some piano as well. Later the drumbeat from "To Mark..." gets reprised off and on. "To Caravan And Brother Jim" is the stand out track. Features Dave Sinclair on organ. Starts out with the "To Mark..." drumbeat and echoed vocals with some very proggy piano and organ parts. Slowly the song turns into free jazz.
"To The Old World (Thank You For The Use Of Your Body, Goodbye)" is dedicated to Kevin Ayerss' band The Whole World. More avant craziness. Some studio altered instrument can be heard. Not sure what it is, sounds like a piano with an effect on it and the playback speed is continually being changed. "To Carla, Marsha And Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)" is one of the more interesting and melodic songs here. Some nice piano and organ. Some avant sounds from organ and piano can be heard overtop the melodic organ and piano. The second part of "Las Vegas Tango" has hypnotic backwards sounds. This sounds similar to some some of the stuff on Wyatt's next album Rock Bottom. Electric and regular piano dominate along with Wyatt's scat vocals. More speed altered vocals and effects.
This is a good album and was very influential on later avant-prog, but it's not something I would want to listen to everyday. It's interesting that this album sounds a lot better than Third released the same year. Third has better music however. If you want to get into Wyatt, I would suggest Rock Bottom or the first two Soft Machine albums instead of this. Overall I would give this 3 stars."
zravkapt

"Robert Wyatt's End of an Ear isn't a serious attempt to kick off a solo career - Rock Bottom would play that role four years later - so much as it represents Wyatt letting off a bit of steam. The Soft Machine had just recorded Third, an album on which Wyatt's drumming naturally played an essential role but on which his vocals were limited to one song - his own Moon In June, a composition the rest of the band were so disinterested in he had to perform most of it himself. This was all part of a general tendency in the Machine to veer away from the inclusion of vocals after the release of Volume Two (in which Wyatt's singing played a major role), which would culminate in their fourth album being released without any singing from Wyatt being included whatsoever.The fact that Wyatt lists "Mouth" under his portfolio of musical instruments on the liner notes is a hint as to the point of this album - to give him a chance to express his unique style of scat singing and his use of his voice as his most delicate and diverse musical instrument in a way which he simply was no longer allowed to do in the Soft Machine. It's a stinging rebuke to Messrs. Ratledge and Hopper, who had been driving the Machine in a firmly instrumental direction at this point, as far as free jazz goes there's a delicate, shimmering beauty to the album which when it comes through clearly is quite delightful. The album doesn't soar to heights of supreme excellence, but it is a skilled reminder of just what the human voice can achieve, and in that sense more than exonerates itself as a showcase for Wyatt's vocal talents. Personally, I think the Soft Machine's decision to sideline Wyatt's singing was absolutely shameful, a waste of a wonderful talent. Fortunately, on Matching Mole's albums and in his solo career, Wyatt would not be silenced."
Warthur
En caso de no saber dónde están los links, acá está todo explicado: http://cabezademoog.blogspot.com.ar/p/por-si-algun-dia-no-estamos-aca.html

4 comentarios:

  1. ETXCELENTE!!!!!! Como no podía ser de otra forma. Disco especial para que la gente joven que está comenzando tome debida nota de lo que se hacía 45 años atrás! No todo era progresivo, ni blues, ni psicodelia, ni folk, sino que en una esquinita se hacía puro free jazz! ¡La sacaste del estadio con este aporte Vicky!

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  2. El que no conoce a Robert Wyatt no conoce a su Mamá!. Yo Tengo Subido este y "EP" el Box de los 5 CD que contiene rarezas y Grabaciones Alternativas de el.

    Saludos

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    Respuestas
    1. Guillermo, debes considerar que a éste espacio entra mucho piberío y genete que no es necesariamente del palo de la música experimental, del prog y del jazz, y por ello mismo éste es un espacio de divulgación de ésta cultura vanguardista, y por lo que es posible que mucha gente que vea esta entrada no conozca a Wyatt o cualquiera de la gente y grupos que publicamos.
      Sobre Box set del que hablas, ¿estará en lossless? porque lo podríamos compartir aquí si te parece bien, nosotros estaríamos felices de tener eso.
      Cualquier cosa me escribes a mi mail: mo.381.u5.8 arroba gmail.com
      Saludos!

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