Robert Wyatt started out as a key player in the burgeoning English progressive rock scene of the late 1960s and early '70s. As both the drummer and the singer in the Soft Machine, he helped that group navigate through some of the smartest, mind-bending pop/art/jazz freak-outs around. He also formed the group Matching Mole, which only briefly touched upon Wyatt's talents as a vocalist, instead putting the larger slant on instrumentation. A fall from a three-story building left Wyatt paralyzed in 1973 and a year later he returned with his most powerful record to date, the lilting Rock Bottom. Instead of favoring song suites and 30-minute keyboard solos, Wyatt found his resolve in complex, quiet melodies and restrained, piano-led arrangements. His music would follow this route for the years to come as he gained respect as a songwriter and a vocalist. His songs can be just as challenging as they are childlike and he is one of the few performers whose body of work is just as compelling now as it was 30 years ago. Recent albums like Shleep and Cuckooland show that Wyatt's talent and inventiveness has yet to diminish.