Tenshi No Kokotsu
01. Tenshi no Kokotsu M-3 (9:44)
02. Umitsubame (3:34)
03. Ore wa Wakamatsu Koji da! (1:15)
04. Umitsubame Ver. II (3:12)
05. Koko wa Shizukana Saizensen (5:51)
06. Tenshi no Kokotsu M-6 (7:09)
All tracks except 3 recorded for the film Tenshi no Kokotsu
Music by Yosuke Yamashita (1, 6) and Michio Akiyama (2, 4, 5)
Words by Masao Adachi (2, 4, 5)
Yosuke Yamashita Trio (1, 4, 6)
Yosuke Yamashita: piano
Takeo Moriyama: drums
Seiichi Nakamura: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Rie Yokoyama: vocal (2, 4, 5)
Michio Akiyama: guitar (2, 5)
Koji Wakamatsu: talk (3)
Messianic maniac pianist Yosuke Yamashita & his strong-arm accomplice drummer Takeo Moriyama wreck an ecstatic hurtling asteroid of incalculably feral chaos & convulsion in the original Yosuke Yamashita Trio set-up that included super Seiichi Nakamura (Akira Sakata had yet to elide with Yosuke & Takeo) on reeds. This truly phenomenal album strays from the Yosuke Yamashita Trio’s standard riveting rampage in two distinct deviations – the onslaught is disrupted/diversified by the inclusion of vocalist Rie Yokoyama on three of the albums five tracks, layering a slow sassy simmering. Secondly, the album is a soundtrack for the cult 1972 film by Koji Wakamatsu & therefore has certain themes that colour this superb outing with specific expressions & descriptions that may not have flourished had the boys been cut-loose in their own typical berserk modus-operandi cathexis. Not that that would be a problem (I can’t really get enough of the YYT) but whatever direction or divarication they are under on this occasion, it has resoundingly yielded immaculate results. This is an extraordinarily powerful & perfervid, risqué-vogue gambit pulling on the impetuous, irrational & impassioned with a deeply sensuous & barely-controlled cusp-of madness úber Avant-Garde riptide. To simplify it, it’s violent, recusant sexualized Avant Jazz complimenting a violent, recusant sexualized Avant-Garde film…which influences the other more? (it’s well worth watching the movie) is a destination for debate & how much of the concept determined some of the brilliance that resulted here is a pretty fascinating issue.
Let’s just run through the tracks first… the CD’s first detonation is a 9.45 melt-down, pretty much an all-out meteorite-shower as is the standard procedure of utter bedlam & seething scathe for YYT. Takeo prefaces solo with a brusque warm-up manoeuvre to prime the joints for combat before the dash for nirvana commences with a terse series of escalating high-notes (the only recurrent bridge/group-syncopation amongst this saturation of pure pandemonium), no doubt denoting to that enraptured apogee. Yosuke & Takeo charge along as a duelling-duo in total megrim before the second syncopation crashes in & fires Seichi into the typhoon. he makes a marvellous adaption to such torrential circumstances…he is less wild than Sakata, smouldering-hard & with brash intemperance, but also conjuring a marvellously confused hybrid of traditional splices that meld & misceginate, mid-flight. It does not always work when practitioners combine the energies in such a fusion, but this is a stark triumph! The billowing, battering bat-shit-crazy belligerence surges through all obstacles with divine destruction! glorious! The recoding quality & mastering is also scintillating & amongst the best finish I have heard to music of this calibre.
Tracks two & five are melancholic ballads sung by Rie Yokoyama accompanied by an acoustic guitarist Michio Akiyama (the YYT are absent). there is a real strength of atmosphere, & the mixture of these tracks, juxtaposed against the full group has a wonderful interaction on the overall disk/experience.
Track three is a voice only or interview excerpt from Wakamatsu.
The fourth track may perhaps be my favourite, a louche & lascivious steam-room sodden in nocturnal energy, intoxication & pheromones. It’s like watching a big-cat straining against a flaying rope that’s only just restraining it (for the moment), edgy, dissolute, unhinged, improprietous & uninhibited. Amazing!
The last track is another low-lying prowler of skittering brushes & poised threat, clearly ready to pounce/blow/erupt with the smallest prompting. It’s used twice in the movie to compliment the Avant-it-crowd of dissident frondeurs to great effect.
Stunning stuff! I would definitely declare this a node of explicit importance in the Yamashita back-catalogue (which is really sayin’ summit’). The CD booklet & tray-card design are all excellent, with many stills from the film.
And indeed the film also is well worth investigating. It’s stuffed with sex & violence as you would expect, but is not quite the weary Japanese psychosexual bilge that’s so copious. Well shot & with Avant-Garde editing (the best sequence involving Yamashita & Moriyama) about a renegade cell of urban-guerrillas in Tokyo blasting (literally) convention a new arsehole.
The CD is pretty difficult to get outside of Japan. I find it depressing that shops & distributions the world over don’t make more effort to attain, share & support the more specialist/spectacular stuff. But those that are serious will always find a way.