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For The Ghosts Within [CD]

Robert Wyatt, Robert Wyatt, Gilad Atzmon, Ros Stephen Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 12.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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For The Ghosts Within + Comicopera + Rock Bottom
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Oct 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B003VW8C3Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,222 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Laura 4:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Lullaby For Irena 5:520.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Ghosts Within 7:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Where Are They Now? 3:110.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Maryan 5:200.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Round Midnight 5:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Lush Life 6:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. What's New? 3:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. In A Sentimental Mood 5:470.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. At Last I Am Free 2:570.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. What A Wonderful World 4:510.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Having peppered his solo career with cover versions of material drawn from impressively diverse origins, Robert Wyatt, now in his mid-60s, here turns his attention to some great tunes from the jazz standards songbook as well as revamping a couple from his own back catalogue.

Consequently, there’s a palpable sense of introspective reflection about much of the record. The sad vulnerability of Wyatt’s paper-thin falsetto is accentuated to the max by the unrequited longing and regretful resignation which are bound into the lyrics of old chestnuts like Laura and Lush Life. Ros Stephens’ string arrangements decorously upholster many of the songs, yet they also contain a certain stiffness that doesn’t always complement Wyatt’s porous falsetto.

Wyatt is clearly not only In a Sentimental Mood, but also up for having a laugh, as his lugubrious reading of What a Wonderful World demonstrates. Whilst there’s no denying the frisson gained from hearing the improbable novelty of Wyatt covering Louis Armstrong’s saccharine swan song, it’s really just fluff and filler compared to some of the potency of the new, original material.

The most cohesive of these is The Ghosts Within. Wyatt cedes the lead vocal to Gilad Atzmon’s wife Tali, on an evocative outing replete with atmospheric bandoneón, sizzling percussion, mournful clarinet and a truly chilling soprano sax coda.

When one hears a musical feast as good and as sultry as this it’s impossible not to conclude that, for all their wistfulness, entertaining enough renditions of standards seem half-baked by comparison. Having moved into the position of being a beloved national treasure status, Wyatt remains at his best when he’s facing forwards rather than looking back.

--Sid Smith

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Product Description

WYATT / ATZMON / STEPHEN For The Ghosts Within (2010 UK 11-track CD album featuring the new collaboration between Robert Wyatt saxophonist / composer Gilad Atzmon and violinist / composer Ros Stephen. A song cycle featuring jazz standards such as Lush Life In A Sentimental Mood and Round Midnight along with Roberts own song Maryan from his 1997 album Schleep Chics At Last I Am Free and Louis Armstrongs What A Wonderful World. Housed in a sealed digipak picture sleeve WIGCD263)

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real 3am masterpiece with minor flaws. 16 Oct 2010
By doublegone TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When I heard Robert Wyatt singing What a Wonderful World, I believed it just might be.

This is a beautiful sumptious, largely downbeat, wistful album. It contains mostly covers of jazz standards in the unusual company of a string quartet, plus double bass and smatterings of saxaphone and clarinet. Swinging American tunes are underlayed with an austere, beautifully harmonic, European backing. Elsewhere there are tinges of the middle east.

Robert covers his own cover of Chic's At Last I am Free to wonderful effect. There are just too many highlights to mention, but What a Wonderful World astonished me.

Robert Wyatt's vocal phrasing is just outstanding. Its quite unobtrusive and I didn't notice at first - but many of these songs demand a great deal from the singer to tumble out the words with such elegance.

So why only four stars? Well I think there are two flaws. It rather surprised me that I found some of Gilad Atzmon's contributions on saxaphone and clarinet a little bit too "wine bar". Most of his lines were terrific but just a few tracks contained sax that went beyond merely pretty to plain bland I thought. And while there was nothing wrong with the crashing percussion and rap in Where Are The Now? per se, I just don't feel the track fits with the rest of the album.

But what an album the rest of it is. Everything a joy tinged with sadness. Like nostalgia for happy times that makes you sigh knowing they can't return. But nice to remember all the same.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think to myself its a wonderful disc 28 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I find Robert Wyatt's singing voice an incredible instrument, and on this record he really uses it to perfection. Robert's voice has an amazing fragility linked to awesome ability to time phrasing, yet underpinning that fragile vulnerability is a real steel of emotional strength. This whole record I find is about those juxtapositions of things that are almost contradictory but which actually complement one another. Elsewhere someone takes off marks claiming that there are elements such as cocktail jazz sax that he feels lets the ensemble down, personally I find it is just those things that give this record real appeal. At very corner you come across something of interest, sometime odd and unsettling, sometimes not, but always of interest.If they only had Robert singing What a wonderful world, I would give this top marks, but the other ten tracks are all of immense value, this is a real treasure.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is stranger than Robert 2 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a marvellously creative setting for Robert Wyatt's music and a beautifully crafted and understated performance as well. The cover-of-a-cover of 'At Last I am Free' is just as highly emotive as the original recording. I also particularly like the title track and the cover of Wyatt's own 'Maryan' is just exquisite. Like the other reviewers, I was surprised to hear a Wyatt version of 'What a Wonderful World', but in a strange way it is exactly appropriate to round off the album. If you are a Wyatt fan you cannot fail to enjoy this release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning emotional intensity and passion 22 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Every time I hear this album I feel emotionally uplifted and spiritually inspired. The playing is virtuosic throughout, the original songs deeply poetic and the depth of feeling of the title track with regard to the Palestinian plight is beyond belief as it speaks for so many of us. It's actually anthemic and should be played everywhere regularly on the radio. Such a shame that this fabulous collection will only reach the ears of connoisseurs of these great artists. As 'Stereophile' said in its recent review this is life-changing music. The 'standards' are also handle with aplomb and musicianship beyond the recorded norm. Hyperbole cannot do justice to this very great recording.For me, it's up there with the greatest recordings of all time, classical, jazz and rock notwithstanding. Ten stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 2 Jun 2011
Format:Audio CD
I have to admit that I approached this album with mixed feelings. I have always loved Robert Wyatt's music, from the earliest Soft Machine when Daevid Allen was still on board Jet Propelled Photographs through The Soft Machine to Fourth, Matching Mole Little Red Record and his solo work. I was particularly taken by a song called Maryan from Shleep which had a beautiful plaintive melody which was perfectly suited to Wyatt's voice. This was a reworking of a Philip Catherine tune, who played on Shleep, call Nairam for his sadly unavailable 1974 album September Man.

I knew that Mr Wyatt could sing the chosen songs but what about the musical arrangements? A a string ensemble? It could so easily have gone horribly wrong. The good news is that it most certainly has not. The voice is brilliant with that wonderful vulnerability that he infuses all his best performances with. The arrangements are perfect, even the reworking of Maryan without the magical guitar of Philip Catherine works.

If you like Robert Wyatt's singing then you'll love this. Never has Laura been sung with such emotional subtlety. This album is a triumph!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Robert Wyatt's voice 19 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD
I have always loved Robert Wyatt's wonderful pure voice and I admire him for always pushing the boundaries and trying new musical approaches. When I heard he'd done a 'covers' album I expected(actually, hoped for)more of the 'I'm a Believer' genre, so this heavily jazz-based collaberation was a surprise, but very interesting nevertheless. Give it a listen, it's really different. Keep singing, Robert.
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