Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1972 - Floating Music (with Come to the Edge)

Stomu Yamash'ta
Floating Music (with Come to the Edge)

01. Poker Dice 17:55
02. Keep In Lane 8:38
03. Xingu 13:09
04. One Way 11:55

Stomu Yamash'ta / Keyboards, Percusion, multi instruments

Morris Pert: drums, percussion, composer
Andrew Powell: bass
Robin Thompson: organ, piano, soprano saxophone, sho
Phil Plant: bass
Peter Robinson: piano
Dave White: soprano saxophone
I. Goffe: trombone
R. Harris: trumpet

 As I was saying in the Red Buddha review, many of Stomu's better albums are crying out for a Cd release and this is one of them, along with the East Wind album. It's actually difficult to believe the Japanese never did anything regarding one of their most experimental and best-regarded countrymen. Graced with a "prog" artwork, this gatefold album is probably the proggiest of all his albums (and a bloody lengthy one at that both asides clocking over the 25 minutes each), and maybe his jazziest as well. By 72, Stomu had left Paris and the experimental theatre scene and had relocated to London, where he will act as a catalyst are his person and help out a few new musicians get their career started (Pert, Boyle) as well as work with established stars like Winwood, Hopper. The album also bears the name of Floating Music, which might be the Stomu's backing formation's name, but this is unclear to me, the same way East Wind is as well. Anyway, Floating Music will become Yamash'ta's songwriting copyright name.

The 18 minutes Poker Dice is a stunning slow developing splendid electric piano-driven piece that also features a fuzz organ, thousands of percussions, and a groovy groove. Most artistes would've been content filling their album with Poker Dice alone, but Stomu unleashes another 8-mins+ Keep In Lane track, which is closer to straight jazz and free jazz than the usual jazz-rock, that unfortunately fails to match the other track's perfection.

The flipside also has two tracks, but recorded live in London early 72, the first of which is one rare non- Yamash'ta composition, the 13-mins Xingu, future Brand X drummer penning this one. Starts out in free-jazz mode, before settling down to a very calm moment, slowly rebuilding the track through successive addition of instruments. The track reaches two or three climaxes, but thankfully never reaching the chaotic state of the opening minute of this track. The 12-mins One Way starts on a space whispering, where Stomu's vibraphone will take the lead (neither Moerlen, nor Greenslade style) but he will go mad on other percussion instruments as well. A complete freak-out, stunning track, slowly dying on Thompson's flute death throes. Great stuff.

With Edge and Freedom, Stomu reached the progressive apex of his of his career, while his higher profile Go project would get him much more attention from the public. Stomu's album in the vinyl format should still be available on the second-hand market at reasonable price, as they've never been collectibles.

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