11 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since he started releasing solo albums in the ‘70s, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Robert Wyatt has been crafting one of the most distinctive bodies of work in any musical genre. He is an ingenious composer of spare and elegant means, but throughout his career he has recorded a number of fascinating covers of jazz, pop, R&B, and Latin tunes. On For the Ghosts Within he shares billing with woodwinds player Gilad Atzmon and violinist Ros Stephen, but the spotlight is clearly on Wyatt as he sings distinctive interpretations of standards and other material. He’s accompanied by Atzmon, Stephen, and the Sigamos String Quartet; at times, bassist Richard Pryce and others join in. (Stephen is the violinist in Sigamos and she wrote most of the string arrangements.) The album opens with the Raskin/Mercer chestnut, “Laura,” and Wyatt’s wonderfully imperfect voice sounds at home in a plush setting which comes decked out with Atzmon’s alto sax work. There are plenty of standouts here; one of them is a cover of Chic’s “At Last I Am Free,” which Wyatt first covered in 1980. A moving, spot-on string arrangement backs up Wyatt’s gorgeous vocals.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since he started releasing solo albums in the ‘70s, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Robert Wyatt has been crafting one of the most distinctive bodies of work in any musical genre. He is an ingenious composer of spare and elegant means, but throughout his career he has recorded a number of fascinating covers of jazz, pop, R&B, and Latin tunes. On For the Ghosts Within he shares billing with woodwinds player Gilad Atzmon and violinist Ros Stephen, but the spotlight is clearly on Wyatt as he sings distinctive interpretations of standards and other material. He’s accompanied by Atzmon, Stephen, and the Sigamos String Quartet; at times, bassist Richard Pryce and others join in. (Stephen is the violinist in Sigamos and she wrote most of the string arrangements.) The album opens with the Raskin/Mercer chestnut, “Laura,” and Wyatt’s wonderfully imperfect voice sounds at home in a plush setting which comes decked out with Atzmon’s alto sax work. There are plenty of standouts here; one of them is a cover of Chic’s “At Last I Am Free,” which Wyatt first covered in 1980. A moving, spot-on string arrangement backs up Wyatt’s gorgeous vocals.

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