Friday, November 4, 2016

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1972 - April Fool - Coming Muhammad Ali

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 
April Fool - Coming Muhammad Ali

01. “Muhammad Ali” Call – 3:22
02. Clay – 7:03
03. Press Conference At Benihana, New York, To Announce The Muhammad Ali And Mac Foster Fight – 2:32
04. Sand Bag – 3:49
05. Muhammad Ali Interviewed In His Home – 3:52
06. Keikotan – 3:07
07. At A Press Conference Just After Arriving In Japan – 1:25
08. Laughing – 3:06
09. Muhammad Ali Answering Questions Asked By Rocky Aoki – 4:33
10. Clay – 0:58
11. At The Weigh-In Press Conference – 3:49
12. Clay – 7:19
13. 10 Counts To Bury His Slave Name, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. – 0:34

Yosuke Yamashita: piano
Seiichi Nakamura: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Takeo Moriyama: drums

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 include Muhammad Ali speaking at press conferences and in an interview; sounds of his training; and an announcer's introduction and the 11-year-old singer Little Dion's rendition of the U.S. national anthem before Ali's fight
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 recorded in November 1971

More Yamashita, this time with his original bass-less trio, with Nakamura Seichi and Moriyama Takeo doing the honors on sax and drums respectively. This was the last album with this line-up (before Sakata Akira took over from Nakamura). Originally released in 1972 (U.R.C Records), it was inspired by the Muhumman Ali-Mac Foster heavyweight title fight that took place in Tokyo earlier that year — on April 1st, hence the title.

Back to the album: What you get is interviews and Ali soundbites interspersed with plenty of Yamashita's high-intensity free playing. It's tempting to say the album is a knock-out but like the actual fight (which Ali took the full 15 rounds and won by a decision), it isn't a classic. Once you've heard the spoken word sections a couple of times, you'll probably want to edit them out and focus on the music tracks.

If this grabs you, then check out this brief sliver of footage of the Yamashita trio from Wakamatsu Koji's equally out there "Ecstacy of the Angels" from the same year.

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