Robert Wyatt | DNO157
Robert Wyatt is a rare bird. His remarkable career began forty years ago drumming and singing for Soft Machine, a post-psych outfit tied to the "Canterbury Scene" of the late '60s that yielded Pink Floyd & Gong among others. His ensuing and far longer solo period speaks volumes of Wyatt's value and endurance as an artist. The arrival of Comicopera, his ninth album, finds Wyatt in a more overt guise. Whereas intimacy defines the experience of listening to previous albums, Comicopera employs collaboration to capture the inviting sound of friends playing together in a room. Fortunately, Robert Wyatt has some very talented friends - Brian Eno, Paul Weller, Phil Manzanera and a small orchestra of string, woodwind, brass and percussion players.
Divided in three acts Comicopera, is an epic genre-bending allegory told through Wyatt's fragile tenor voice. It's more than a grand effort that rewards with each listen. It is the next chapter in the life's work of a contemporary music scholar who deserves examination.