The singularly minded Robert Wyatt has pursued a career that has progressed at his own pace and according to clearly defined musical tastes. Occasionally this has resulted in Wyatt crossing over into the mainstream, but for the main part he remains a cult figure beloved by other artists. A former member of the great 60s experimental rock group Soft Machine, Wyatt struck out with a new group Matching Mole in the early 70s. A fall from a window in 1973 left the drummer paralyzed from the waist down and forced to reevaluate his working methods. The superlative Rock Bottom featured prominent contributions from his partner (and future wife), poet/artist Alfreda Benge, and an atmospheric mixture of pop and jazz textures. Amusingly, Wyatt then broke into the UK Top 30 with a spirited cover version of the Monkees' I'm A Believer. Wyatt's career during the 80s and early 90s was quiet, with occasional guest appearances and solo singles, the most notable of which was a superb version of Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding. He began to be more active in the late 90s, releasing the excellent Shleep in collaboration with Benge. This creative burst continued into the new millennium with albums that were increasingly influenced by jazz and Latin music.
Followers: Tom Verlaine, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Richard Youngs
Influenced By: George Neidorf, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Gil Evans...