Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1975 - Raindog

Stomu Yamash'ta 

01. Dunes (15:00)
02. 33 1/3 (7:40)
03. Rainsong (5:03)
04. The Monks Song (6:01)
05. Shadows (5:08)
06. Ishi (6:59)

- Stomu Yamashta / percussion
- Daito Fujita / bass
- Brian Gascoigne / piano, clavinet, synthesizer
- Hozumi Tanaka / drum kit
- Tsuneo Matsumoto / guitar
- Gary Boyle / guitar
- Hisako Yamashta / violin
- Murray Head / vocal
- Maxine Nightingale / vocal

 What a wonderful and progressive album, while I don't know whether Stomu would have intend to make a progressive rock album or not.
Stomu Yamashta is a Japanese percussionist and, as everyone has said, one of jazz-rock pioneers all over the world. This 'Raindog' is his fifth album from Island Records, faithfully re-produced with the 'Raindog' event in London - after his previous band East Wind breaking out. The quality and activity of this album can notify us that Stomu would not be depressive in the disbandment and would be still positive for music and creation. The first track Dunes has jazzy and speedy percussive sounds tinged with slight psychedelic or spacey flavour. His wife's violin is very funky and flexible without any restriction - she can absolutely make his percussion more brilliant. Daito Fujita's bass is very simple but very strict for Stomu's percussion - this combination is so terrific. Heavy and serious atmosphere we can feel strongly and imminently. Wait, in the middle part are steady and relaxed sounds with some pleasure but we cannot be completely relaxed mmm, why? Maybe some dangerous glimmers we can see even in the part. The latter part has an exotic percussion and streaming guitar sound, and Murray Head's melancholic voices plus Maxine Nightingale's graceful scats. Cheers for wonderful 15 minutes! Following track 33 1/3 is, we can say, the one-man show by Stomu. Lots of his percussive equipments - bells, a triangle, a gong, conga or bongo drums, and so on - can hit and blow our brain. There are various musical elements from the whole world. Please enjoy taste of the world itself. In Rainsong Stomu's drums and Hisako's violin can open the door of fantastic 'rainy' stage. The track is the most of rock and roll in this album. Not progressive but very enjoyable song I'm sure. We can sing and dance to it! The Monks Song is also attractive with percussive sounds in the beginning. The middle part has so sad and painful lyrics by Murray's voices with much passion. Of course, Stomu's percussion should have more passion too - for death and reality. Shadows was composed by Hisako and Brian Gascoigne, not by Stomu. Here is Japanese flavour with fantastic violin and piano. Hisako's violin sometimes sounds like Koto, Japanese harp. What a graceful and with Oriental beautiful gem in this aggressive, progressive work! Ishi(in English, stone? or intention? In fact, the title is written with Japanese Katakana so I cannot realize which is correct.) can start with children's pleasant voices and Stomu's laidback percussion. Added avant-garde violin and hypnotic guitar sounds, Ishi can be completed.



  2. Thank you for this. And thank you for a wonderful blog.