Tuesday, March 15, 2016

James Vincent - 1978 - Waiting For The Rain

James Vincent 
Waiting For The Rain

01. What Does It Profit A Man? (4:50)
02. Resistance (4:52)
03. Etude #20 (1:16)
04. Daniel, Daniel (3:10)
05. People Of The World (4:39)
06. How Can I Thank You Enough (4:55)
07. Soon Comes The Son (3:48)
08. Waiting For The Rain (3:12)
09. The Seventh Day (6:11)
10. Babylon Is Fallen (3:09)

- James Vincent / vocals, synthesizer, guitar
- Ron Stockert / keyboards
- Steve Evans / bass
- Tom Donlinger / drums, marimba
- Pat Murphy / congas, percussion
- Kim Hutchcroft / saxophone
- Larry Williams / saxophone
- Carla Vincent / background vocals, percussion, congas
- Bill Reichenbach / trombone
- Jerry Hey / trumpet
- Vincent Dondelinger / whistling on "Waiting For The Rain"

"Recorded and released in 1978.  While the music was still very much R&B jazz fusion the lyrics boldly reflected my newfound Christian conversion while staying in Hawaii.  It shipped world wide because of Space Traveler's success and I received hundreds of letters in support of this record,  which had crossed over with a message in secular music that was unprecedented.  A year or so later Bob Dylan came out with an album called Saved, which became the second such record. "

James Vincent - 1976 - Space Traveler

James Vincent 
Space Traveler 

01. The Garden (0:53)
02. Mankind (4:20)
03. Drifting Into Love (4:45)
04. Alone (2:39)
05. Space Traveller (3:21)
06. Firefly (5:39)
07. Song For Jayme (5:34)
08. How I'm Gonna Miss You (5:15)
09. Stepping Up (1:13)
10. Walking On Higher Ground (4:01)
11. Moonday (6:57)

- James vincent / guitar
- Ronald Stockert / keyboard, string & horn arrangements
- Verdine White / bass
- Harvey Mason / drums
- Clyde Stubblefield / drums
- Freddy White / drums
- Patrick M Murphy / percussion
- Leon Chancler / percussion
- Carla May / percussion
- David Wolinski / ARP2600
- Jay Migliori / soprano sax
- Jack Nitzsche /string & horn arrangements
- Shirley Mathews / background vocals
- Clydie King / background vocals
- Vinetta Fields / background vocals
- Pete Cetera / background vocals

Recorded in 1975 and released in 1976.  Definitely my most commercially successful project.  The single hit the top forty in several markets with no touring support.  It was said that if the release had been a year later with the "Star Wars" movie being released, it would have been a possible number 1 hit.  R&B jazz fusion would best describe the style. I was at the time on an extended visit to Kauai,  Hawaii that turned into almost a year visit, to the complete frustration of my label and management.  If you like the funky sounds of the mid seventies you should love this record.

James Vincent - 1974 - Culmination

James Vincent 

01. Brain Subway 6:05
02. Divinity Freedom Struggle 8:34
03. Duplex 7:00
04. Algernon I 2:17
05. Plains of Nazca 6:06
06. Algernon II 5:51
07. Controlled Folly 8:20
08. Declamation 6:10

Drums, Percussion – George Marsh
Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Marimba – Tom Dondelinger
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass – Mel Graves
Electric Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer – Mike Nock
Guitar, Mandola, Cradle Harp, Vocals – James Vincent
Hammond Organ – Howard Wales
Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Maracas – Martin Fierro
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Tom Harrell

James VINCENT is just one of many excellent musicians from Chicago area. As a guitarist he changed through a lot of styles, and through his career was not just a solo artist but a studio musician, writer and composer.

One of his first more known bands in blues ridden Chicago were THE EXCEPTIONS in which he worked with Pete CETERA who would become lead singer of CHICAGO. After working as a studio musician for many Chess Records recording artists, VINCENT became a guitarist for the proto-prog band H.P.LOVECRAFT. Then he met Howard WALES & Jerry GARCIA with whom he toured for a brief time. While touring and playing the blues/funk influenced fusion at the time, VINCENT became inspired with their opening band and their guitarist, which was John MCLAUGHLIN and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.

Afterwards he began recording and released four albums up to 1980 before taking a longer break with his solo career. His earlier records can be reminiscent of for example SANTANA with whom he used to work with and his RnB roots show in a lot of his work but amongst those there is fine energetic instrumental jazz fusion.

Recorded in the winter of 1971 but not released until 1974.  It is almost entirely instrumental,  featuring many renowned musicians of the day,   and it is appreciated by the more eclectic listeners of music.  To say that much of the music is experimental would be an understatement.   I almost fell over when a Washington Post music critic called it the "most creative album since Sergeant Pepper".  It has no musical similarities to the Beatles;  that is for sure.  Vinyl copies are going over the web for as much as $75 if you can find them.

Billy Harper - 1979 - The Awakening

Billy Harper 
The Awakening

01. The Awakening
02. Soran Bushi--B.H.
03. Cry Of Hunger

Bass – Louis Spears
Drums – Horacee Arnold
Piano – Fred Hersch
Tenor Saxophone – Billy Harper
Trumpet – Everett Hollins

This 1979 date by tenor saxophonist Billy Harper is one of his most transcendent. Rife with his deep study of Coltrane's modalism, and his own deep knowledge of the blues and Eastern music, Harper and his quintet take on three extended pieces: "Soran Bushi-B.H." comes in at over 12 minutes, while "Cry Of Hunger," is over 20; both work out of extended harmonic architectures to place improvisation as a new element (remember, this was 1979), as an extension of the jazz "song." Trumpeter Everett Hollins, pianist Fred Hersch -- who was by this time already in full command of his great reach and complex sense of harmonic engagement -- Louis Spears on bass, and drummer Horace Arnold delve deep into Harper's muse and come out with a record that sounds like a suite. From the title track, which opens the disc through "Soran Bushi-B.H." to "City Of Hunger," modalism gives way to Senegalese folk themes, and Asian variations on theme, in both harmonic and rhythmic languages. Melodically, this group was messing around with ideas that no one else could -- or probably would -- touch at the time. The interplay between Hersch and Harper is so intimate and instinctual, where Harper's ragged edges coruscate beautifully into Hersch's large chords and deft, tight-hand intrigues. When tempos move from Malian folk modes to stomping gospel-blues shouts, Harper's horn sings against Spears' basslines, which don't so much anchor, as propel forward the rest of the ensemble into the great mystery. This is a winner, top to bottom, and one of the more engaging vanguard jazz outings of the late '70s to come from American soil.

Billy Harper - 1979 - In Europe

Billy Harper 
In Europe

01. Priestess
02. Calvary
03. Illumination

Bass – Louie "Mbiki" Spears
Drums – Horacee Arnold
Piano – Fred Hersch
Tenor Saxophone – Billy Harper
Trumpet – Everett Hollins

Recorded January, 24 & 25, 1979 at Barigozzi Studios, Milano.

The Billy Harper Quintet's In Europe appeared as the first release from the Soul Note label, a co-label of Milan's other avant-garde label, Black Saint, in 1979. In Europe presents Texas-born composer and tenor saxophonist Harper and his quintet, featuring an energetic lineup of musicians including Everett Hollins on trumpet, Fred Hersch on piano, Louie "Mbiki" Spears on bass, and Horace Arnold on drums. Recorded in Milan at Barigozzi studios, In Europe gives a fine glimpse at the power and intensity of Harper's compositions and his tremendous abilities as an improviser. Harper's gorgeous tone is reminiscent of John Coltrane's, an artist whose spiritual and soulful playing Harper builds off of to shape his own organic style. The three compositions presented on In Europe include some of Harper's best work, notably "Priestess," with its infectious gospel progression, and the energized and melodic "Calvary." Highly recommended music for post-bop and free jazz appreciators.

Billy Harper - 1978 - Soran Bushi, B.H.

Billy Harper 
Soran Bushi, B.H.

01. Trying to Get Ready
02. Loverhood
03. Soran-Bushi, B.H.

Billy Harper - tenor saxophone
Everett Hollins - trumpet
Harold Mabern - piano
Greg Maker - bass
Horacee Arnold, Billy Hart - drums

Recorded December, 1977 at Sound Ideas Studios NYC.

Harper, Billy (R.), tenor saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator; born Houston, TX, 17 January 1943. His family is musical and he was also strongly influenced by growing up in the A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) church. His grandmother Pearl was married to a minister and was the "guiding light" of his life. Pearl (Nicknamed-"Peachie") raised him. His uncle Earl tried trumpet in high school in Austin, TX, alongside Kenny Dorham and got Billy interested in music. He was already singing "A tisket-a tasket" and other songs at the age of three. In 1948-1956 he began his singing career performing at sacred and secular functions. Around the age of 10 he became fascinated with the appearance of a saxophone that he saw in a music shop window each day as he came from school, and he received a Christmas gift of a tenor saxophone at age 11 from his biological mother, "Babysugar."

In high school he played in the marching band under Sammie Harris, alongside Michael Carvin and Michael Bolivar, and the band won a state championship. Another musical colleague was drummer Malcolm Pinson (they later performed together professionally). He learned about stagecraft from his drama and speech instructor, Vernell Lillie, and he found musical support in her husband, tenor saxophonist Richard (Dickie Boy) Lillie. He was working professionally in blues groups, and graduated cum laude in 1961 from Evan E. Worthing High School. From 1961-1965 he attended North Texas State University (now known as the
University of North Texas), from where he go to Dallas and meet James Clay, Claude Johnson, David "Fathead" Newman, Louis Spears, Ted Dunbar, Roger Boykins "Shag", and "Worm" (an alto saxophonist).
Harper was the first black musician to perform in the famed NTSU "One o'clock" big band that was awarded first prize at the Kansas Jazz Festival. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1965 with a major in saxophone, and a minor in theory. Additional major in experimental program for students particularly interested in jazz. Formed and performed frequently with the Billy Harper Sextet.

Moved to New York City in 1966. He spent about a year unemployed, sitting in at Slug's and elsewhere, though he got one lucky break in 1966 in an NBC-TV documentary film, "The Big Apple" (featured newcomers: model, boxer, businessman, opera singer, and jazzman).

Then he met Gil Evans on Broadway and in six months began working with him. In 1967 he also began working with Art Blakey, including a tour to Japan in'68. In 1970 Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Harper, Harold Mabern, and dedicated listeners formed the "Jazz and People's Movement to protest the absence of jazz in TV and radio broadcasting.He and Lee Morgran were in the group that "interrupted " the Merv Griffin Show, and later succeeded at voicing their grievances on the Dick Cavett Show. He worked with Lee Morgan from 1969 until the trumpeter's murder in Feb. 1971.

During this period overall, he worked with Evans 8 yrs., Donald Byrd ('70-'71), Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big band ('71-'78, including a trip to Russia in 1972), Max Roach ('71'-'79), and Randy Weston (with whom he still performs from time to time,'72-present). However since 1979 he has worked most often as leader of his own quintet. He made trips to Japan with Max Roach ('73, '74, '76), Thad Jones ('74), Gil Evans ('72), Billy Harper Quintet ('79), and five other times with All Star groups (1984, 85, and others). With his quintet, he has also toured Western Europe; Portugal; Istanbul, Turkey, Poland, Rumania, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Israel, Taiwan, South America, Japan, Phillipines, Kaoshung, Taiwan, Norway, Finland, France, Italy, Leipzig, Germany, and others.

He is very active as an educator. In 1972 he received a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Arts to teach improvisation at 15 high schools. In 1975 he taught saxophone and flute at Livingston College, Rutgers University. From 1992 to the present he has taught at the New School jazz program, and since 1993 he has presented lectures and master classes at educational institutions around the world

Killer side long title track, well worth the price of the album for. A lovely long and deep modal piece, scattered with the occasional vocal and subtle soloing. A very forgettable a side though, which was a bit of a let down. Japan only release, so a bit of a pig to find, but well worth the dig for the title track.

Chick Corea - 1969 - Is

Chick Corea 
Is (The Complete IS Sessions)

101. It – 0:30
102. The Brain" – 10:10
103. This – 8:18
104. Song of the Wind – 8:05
105. Sundance – 10:02
106. The Brain [alternate take]" – 7:26
107. This [alternate take] – 11:49
108. Song of the Wind [alternate take] – 6:46
109. Sundance [alternate take] – 12:28

201. Jamala – 14:07
202. Converge – 7:59
203. Is – 28:54
204. Jamala [alternate take] – 8:57
205. Converge [alternate take] – 7:59

Horace Arnold – percussion, drums
Chick Corea – piano, electric piano
Jack DeJohnette – drums
Dave Holland – bass
Hubert Laws – flute, piccolo flute
Bennie Maupin – tenor sax
Woody Shaw – trumpet

Recorded May 11, 1969-May 13, 1969

The Complete "Is" Sessions is a 2002 Blue Note Records compilation / re-issue album by Chick Corea of material recorded in May 1969. The material of the "Is" sessions was released originally in 1969 as two separate albums on two different record labels. The songs "Is", "This", "Jamala" and "It" were issued as Is on Solid State Records, whilst the remaining songs were released as Sundance on the Groove Merchant label. The 2002 Blue Note double CD package also includes alternate takes from the original recording sessions.

Although the recording of Chick Corea's The Complete "IS" Sessions took place in May of 1969, the rhythm section, which consists of bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and legendary Latin/hard-bop/fusion pianist Chick Corea, found its footing seven months earlier in the electric tone poems of the In A Silent Way sessions under Miles Davis's leadership.

The Complete "IS" Sessions, a two-disc set reissued on Blue Note's Connoisseur Series, is a musical example of the exploratory sound of 1969. On IS, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette largely break into the "new thing" or avant-garde with the help of hard bop players Woody Shaw and Bennie Maupin, flutist Hebert Laws, and percussionist Horace Arnold. It contains material previously released as Is on Solid State and Sundance on Groove Merchant.

Disc one begins with "It," a 28 second classical duet between flutist Laws and Corea that is based on an original Corea composition called "Trio for Flute, Bassoon, and Piano." "The Brain" and "This" add saxophonist Bennie Maupin to the mostly avant-garde nature of Corea's playing, which sounds like the pianist's '68 Blue Note album, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.

"The Brain" states the head in unison four times, with bass and drums starting and stopping like an engine that won't turn over. Corea slams down block chords like his classical influence, Chopin, and the rhythm section begins to cook with the intensity of a summer thunderstorm. Corea plays long, French impressionistic lines mixed with abstract improvisation while Maupin lays sheets of Coltrane-influenced tenor lines on top of the rhythm.

"This" breaks into free jazz territory, with Maupin dodging in and out of Corea's lines on electric piano. It's not suprising that Corea's soloing on "This" has the seemingly chaotic but controlled intonations of Herbie Hancock considering they both played in Miles Davis's free bop quintet on Filles De Kilimanjaro. Over five minutes of "This" is dedicated to showing off the simultaneous improvisation between Holland and Corea. The fourth selection on disc one is "Song of the Wind." Lyrical and contemplative, this piece is built around a never-ending theme that sounds like a tone poem from Corea's Return to Forever.

Trumpeter Woody Shaw, who played with Corea in Willie Bobo's band during the early '60s, is featured on the last track of disc one. "Sundance" begins with improvisation between Holland and Corea that is reminiscent of the haunting start of Wayne Shorter's "Sanctuary," which both helped record four months later on Bitches Brew. Percussionist Horace Arnold adds drums to DeJohnette's agressive playing on "Sundance." The highlight of the alternate tracks on disc one are a softer take of "Sundance," showcasing a lighter style of DeJohnette.

"Jamala" introduces the free-form style that is prevalent throughout disc two of the "IS" sessions. The piece, composed by Holland, is over fourteen minutes of avant-garde ramblings, unstated tempos, and dissonant piano chord changes. "Converge" unwinds mysteriously with a four-note theme in the beginning and Corea comping without any context.

"Is" is a 28 minutes of free association, a free jazz opus which symbolizes the experimental attitude that was present in American music and society in the late '60s. The alternate track of "Jamala" is shortened to under nine minutes, helping to end the "IS" sessions on a more cohesive note.

Horacee Arnold - 1974 - Tales Of The Exonerated Flea

Horacee Arnold 
Tales Of The Exonerated Flea

01. Puppett Of The Seasons
02. Sing Nightjar
03. Benzélé Windows
04. Tales Of The Exonerated Flea
05. Delicate Evasions
06. Chinnereth II
07. Euroaquilo Silence

Bass – Clint Huston, George Mraz, Rick Laird
Electric Guitar – John Abercrombie
Flute, Flute [Alto] – Art Webb
Percussion – Dom Um Romao
Percussion, Congas – Dave Johnson
Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Sonny Fortune
Synthesizer [Moog], Electric Piano, Piano – Jan Hammer
Twelve-string Guitar – Ralph Towner
Vibraphone, Marimba [Bass] – David Friedman

In 1974, drummer and composer Horacee Arnold assembled a stellar cast of players for Tales of the Exonerated Flea, his second Columbia album. Following on the heels of 1973's acclaimed Tribe, Tales was recorded at the height of the jazz-rock fusion era. Arnold's vision was a wide-ranging one and he recruited players form all over the jazz world, from stalwarts like bassist George Mraz and flutist Art Webb, to vanguardists like Sonny Fortune, to hardcore fusion players like Weather Report's master percussionist Dom Um Romao, the Mahavishnu Orchestra's bassist Rick Laird, and keyboardist Jan Hammer. As if this weren't enough, Arnold even reached into ECM's roster and signed up their two iconoclastic guitarists Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie. The end result is one of the most fascinating, soulful and truly successful albums of the entire genre. What one hears in listening to Tales of the Exonerated Flea is a cast of players who are seeking to open up both rock and jazz to new modes of expression. There are no sterile chops or elongated knotty passages that serve neither rhythm nor harmony. What's happening here is real fusion, of style, language, color, rhythm, harmonic and melodic concepts as well as dynamics. An intense examples is "Sing Nightjar" with its intricate melody and fine, provocative solos by Towner on 12-string and Hammer. The initial funky Latin groove of "Benzele Windows" that is introduced to fiery effect by Romao is quickly underscored by Webb's brilliant flute work and added to by Abercormbie and Fortune playing in tandem. When Hammer's electric piano enters the fray, moving in counterpoint with Arnold's lightning rhythmnatism, the piece becomes a startling orgy of rhythm and complexity before the shimmering dark funk of Laird, Hammer, and Arnold creates a dark funky groove for Fortune's soprano solo. The title cut uses a striated, extended and tensely convoluted bop line to introduce a burning Latin flavored stomp undergirding a modal line in the head. The chugging rhythmic invention at the heart of "Chinnereth II" belies a rather delicate if involved melody line before the tune becomes a joyful song with many parts and choruses. In all, Tales of the Exonerated Flea is a fusion record of the very best kind, it's full of soul, restless adventure, high-wire soloing and dirty grooves. Reissued on CD by Rock and Groove in 2004, it should be explored by everyone interested in the development of jazz-rock.

Horacee Arnold - 1973 - Tribe

Horacee Arnold 

01. Tribe
02. Banyan Dance
03. Forest Games
04. Orchards Of Engedi
05. The Actor
06. Professor Moriarty
07. 500 Miles High

Bass – George Mraz
Congas, Percussion – Ralph MacDonald
Drums – Horacee Arnold
Flute, Soprano Saxophone – Joe Farrell
Tenor Saxophone – Billy Harper
Twelve-String Guitar – Ralph Towner
Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Percussion – David Friedman

Horace Emmanuel Arnold, or Horacee Arnold (born September 25, 1937) is an American jazz drummer. He was born in Wayland, Kentucky.

Arnold first began playing drums in 1957 in Los Angeles while he held a position in the Coast Guard. In 1959, he began performing as "Horacee" when he joined a big band led by David Baker (composer); he also played with Roland Kirk and Charles Mingus that year. In 1960 he became the drummer in a trio with Cecil McBee and Kirk Lightsey.

In the 1960s he worked both in jazz (with pianist and Composer Hasaan Ibn Ali and Henry Grimes, and in 1964 with The Bud Powell Trio at Birdland) and in dance, as part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance company on a tour of Asia. Later in the 1960s, he played with Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba; following this he studied composition under Heiner Stadler, Hy Gubenick, and classical guitar with Ralph Towner. In 1967 he founded his own ensemble, The Here and Now Company, in which Sam Rivers, Karl Berger, Joe Farrell, and Robin Kenyatta.

In the 1970s Arnold became one of the best-known jazz fusion drummers, playing with Return to Forever, Stan Getz, Archie Shepp, and Billy Harper in addition to releasing two of his own solo albums. Later in the 1970s he formed a three-ensemble called Colloquium III with Billy Hart and Freddie Waits. In the 1980s Arnold went on to teach at William Paterson College, in addition to working as a session musician and playing with Kenny Burrell, he formed a trio that featured Dave Friedman and Anthony Cox.

Horacee Arnold is a musician who has been off the radar for many years, but he recorded a couple of nice albums for Columbia back in the 1970's which are available again. Here he got some of the finest young talent around, many of whom went on to long and distinguished musical careers (and all of whom became much more famous than Mr. Arnold did). Joe Farrell brings to this session what he brought to the first RTF band and gives it much of the same feel. Billy Harper plays with his usual fire and sounds as ever like no one but Billy Harper. Then there is the great guitarist Ralph Towner and the very fine vibist David Friedman, who somehow didn't reach Burton or Hutcherson-type fame but not because he didn't have that kind of talent. Very nice album, one that I will come back to.

Mars Everywhere - 1988 - 1978-79-80: Live & Unrehearsed

Mars Everywhere
1978-79-80: Live & Unrehearsed

01. The Applied Journey 7'34"
02. Zöln 10'31"
03. Enchanted Domain [Excerpt] 1'55"
04. V*Jer / Enchanted Domain 11'32"
05. Zöln 10'25"
06. Zone Of Twilight 6'22"
07. Tonal Photons 6'47"
08. Xmas Interludes 2'01"
09. Mare Chromium 9'03"
10. Mare Chromium 7'50"
11. Encore 6'38"

1-3: Recorded at DC Space (28/2/80)
4+5: Recorded at the Washington Ethical Society (21/12/78)
6-9: Recorded at Trinity Theatre (15/12/78)
10+11: Recorded at Mars Studio (14/1/79)

1) DC Space (August 28, 1980)
2) Washington Ethical Society (December 21, 1979)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Carlos Garzza: Keyboards, synthesizers, sequencers
3) Trinity Theater (December 15, 1978)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Tom Fenwick: synthesizers, sequencers, organ
Robin Anderson: drums, percussion
4) Mars Studio (January 14, 1979)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Doug Hollobaugh: synthesizers, keyboards, fx
Robin Anderson: Drums, percussion

All Material Recorded Live at various concerts on a variety of tape machines.
Remixed April 18, 1988 by Doug Walker / Space Station Studio
Special thanks to Barney Jones for the masters, Robert Carlberg, and the audiences of Wahington DC!!
Dedicated to all those who worked to make Random Radar Records a reality during 1978-1980

Transferred from 1st generation TDK tape obtained directly from Doug Walker in the late 80's on March 13, 2016

In the late 70's one could hear new forms of music being worked on in almost every large urban area of the US. A strong regional scene had emerged as the younger, non-mainstream players looked for ways to present their new sounds to the public.

In NYC, one could find the likes of Material, James White & the Blacks, 8-Eyed Spy. Cleveland/Akron yielded Pere Ubu, Tin Huey (whose fine Warner Bros. LP has sadly never been reissued), Human Switchboard, Devo and the Styrenes, while in Washington DC the Muffins, Mars Everywhere and Guitarist Steve Feigenbaum were active, creating a label (Random Radar) and sponsoring concerts at venues all over the DC area.

Formed in 1976, Mars Everywhere was the mutual brainchild of High school friends and Electronic Music enthusiasts Barney Jones (Guitars, Organs, Electronic Reeds) and Ernie Falcone (Guitars, Devices, Effects), who quickly recruited Synthesist Tom Fenwick to the fold. The trio used Free Improvisation as their musical material, and tapes of the early material expose the group as a quick-witted outfit, steeped in both the SpaceRock ethos of Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze/Ash Ra Tempel, and the Avante'-Classical work of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Morton Subotnick. This configuration contributed a track to the long-deleted "Random Radar Sampler", which was organized and produced by Steve Feigenbaum's brand new Random Radar label (the entire concert was issued in 1989 by Audio File Tapes, contact them as it may be out of print).

As the underground (spurred by the punk movement) gained momentum, Mars Everywhere added musicians and turned toward developing a SpaceRock sound based on the works of early Hawkwind, Soft Machine, Gong and Can, utilizing a conventional rhythm section of Greg Yaskovitch (BassGuitar, Synthesizers, Electronic Trumpet), and Robin Anderson (Drums). Synthesist Fenwick stayed on, and the group began gigging as a full band towards the end of 1978, and was invited to play the Baltimore Manifest (an 8-hr concert featuring Daevid Allen, NY Gong, Material, the Muffins Yosh'ko Seffer and host of area groups; other concerts were held in NYC and LA during Fall 1978).

Drummer Anderson and Synthesist Fenwick left the group early in '79, and were replaced by Doug Hollobaugh (Synthesizers), and Barney Jones was enlisted to play drums, which he learned to play over a three-month period. The group gigged all over the DC area with the Muffins, but changed keyboards over that summer. Carlos Garrazza (Synthesizer, Keyboards) was invited to join that August. A favorable article in Washington Post helped raise the band's profile that fall, and the group (which by now included a lightshow) finished the year doing a major gig at the Washington Ethical Society, attended by nearly 1000.

1980 saw the group begin recording for this LP; many of the longer tracks were recorded in April of 1980, but the LP also contained shorter tracks recorded live from December '78 to fall of '79.

The LP opens with "The Enchanted Domain", named after Magritte's painting. Bursts of white noise begin the affair, then they are overlaid with Synthesizer and Glissando Guitar. Lush String Synthesizer and Fender Piano chords introduce the body of the piece, backed by BJ's delicate cymbal work and echo BassGuitar by Yaskovitch. They take the progression around a few times, then comes a legato section of Synthesizer, Gliss Guitar and Effects, over which the Trumpet blows with obvious allusions to Miles Davis' electronic work on the horn. BJ gives a two beat intro, and the band falls back into the tune, letting loose strong and aggressive playing from the band, and a dazzling Guitar solo by Falcone, who builds his statement verse by verse. Heavily effected Guitar ends the piece, but it does feel like there should've been one more movement to the piece; nonetheless, it is quite successful.

"Steady State Theory" is actually a jam from the group's Random Radar demo tape, recorded with Anderson and Hollobaugh. The band feeds ideas off each other, while Guitar and Electronic Reeds blow over the top. The playing is tight, and the rhythm section seems to respond well to each other. "Mare Chromium" describes the Silver Sea on Mars, and was one of the band's signature tunes. This version is from the Manifest at John Hopkins U., 12/15/78, and finds the band tumbling out of an extended Electronic improvisation, and into the tune. Fenwick plays the ostinado on Farfisa Organ, whilst Jones blows a heartfelt reed solo, and Falcone a sizzling Guitar burn using a homebuilt moving coil to excite the strings, getting a heavy E-bow like sound. The audience response at the end of the tune is warm and appreciative, a well desrved tribute. The title tune is next, and turns out to be an improvisation inspired by the Voyager Jupiter mission (the first Spacecraft flyby, which took place in the Spring of '79) and Morton Subotnick's Electronic compositions, the track was recorded 9/30/79 at the American University Auditorium (a marvelous show, this writer opened for them, backed up by 3/4 of the Muffins). "Industrial Sabotage" blends Synthesizer, Gliss Guitar, and BJ's treated cymbals and whirli-hose to create a menacing sonic chill, as Guitar starts screaming over a massive wall of sound; this works to the max, but is faded out as the band slides into its most well-know track, the TV theme from Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone".

Starting with an acoustic recreation of the theme aided by the Bassoon of Muffin Tom Scott, they get into the meat and tatters of the tune in rocking fashion, with killer Guitar and Synthesizer solos giving an aural interpretation of what one might see during one of Serling's captivating programs. "Zoln" is based on a simple riff, introduced by a brief incantation by Jones' treated voice; easily the longest track on the LP, it is meant for jamming off. Beside voice and winds, Jones' drumming is simple yet strong, and he steadies the band as well as propelling it. Note Falcone's use of Ring Modulator here, his brittle Guitar chords lend alot to the texture of the sonic events. "Attack of the Giant Squid" originally appeared on the RR Sampler LP; the version here was recorded 6/22/79 at the legendary DC Space. Once again Jones steals the show, controlling the flow of the improv with voice, transistor radio and an alarm clock, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a scene from a 50s Sci-Fi thriller.

This was stirring stuff, but ME was destined for destruction, and disbanded before the new decade's first year was out. Although the other members left music, Barney Jones continued to record and perform SpaceRock through the 1980s, releasing a clutch of Cassette LPs for Audio File Tapes and Sound of Pig Tapes; BJ passed away 7/3/96, missing the current resurgence of the music but an integral part in helping establish things for those who now play the music here. Often, one can find this LP in used record bins, or occasionally on OOP lists; the LP needs to be reissued, but as yet there has been no interest in such a project, from either the ex-band members or Random Radar's successor Cuneiform Records. A shame, as it deserves reinvestigation, and could now find a new popularity amongst today's SpaceRock audiences.

...and from Gnosis2000.net:

The window on Mars Everywhere that is Industrial Sabotage is actually a small snapshot of the approximately half decade that the group existed in its many formations. Formed in the mid 70s, the group evolved from a two-man electronic live act into a progressive space rock, rotating cast of musicians for their only true album, while leaving enough archival rarities for two 90 minute casettes, both of which were released in the mid 90s.

Industrial Sabotage was one of the gems of the American label Random Radar, a label in its own right maybe the only one in the early 80s still putting out consistent work in various progressive fields. Even for such a diverse catalog, Mars Everywhere were quite iconoclastic, creating an album of improvisational music that married the space rock style with electronics. On one hand Mars Everywhere shared a similar inspiration to groups like Gong, Far East Family Band, and Hawkwind while on the other it was electronic masters like Tangerine Dream or Conrad Schnitzler who provided the influence. Ernie Falcone's change in line up to include drums and bass on a more regular basis altered the sound of the band to bring it closer to the krautrock inspirations of yesteryear. The sound is generally improvisationally based, although the presence of song titles on here that were several years old give witness to an improvisational method with guideposts, an approach that would cause pieces like "Attack of the Giant Squid" to vary from performance to performance. For an early 80s album, Industrial Sabotage seems quite anachronistic, looking back to the early 70s and the dawn of the analog synthesizer for primary inspiration, while not losing a bit of unabashed, groundbreaking experimentation in the process. Perhaps it was the early years of Mars Everywhere that set the stage for the album, what is basically a collection of pieces from various permutations of the line-up (that all include founder Falcone, bassist Greg Yaskovich and multi-instrumentalist Barney Jones), as the move to more rock-oriented song structures did not bring with it any sense of the conventional. There are plenty of effected saxes, wailing guitar solos, scuttling electronics and cosmic space outs to appeal to any fan of psychedelic, experimental rock.

However, the larger line ups of Industrial Sabotage were really examples of later formations of the group, as the band started off a guitar/electronics duo of Falcone and synthesist Tom Fenwick, peforming music in the grand 70s Germanic tradition. The duo's first gig from the summer of 1976 was released on the cassette label Sound of Pig in the 90s entitled Visitor Parking. Joined by future member Barney Jones for a trio, the live set was an example of experimental analog electronics in the best tradition of Ohr Tangerine Dream and Conrad Schnitzler. "Calling Bats" takes up one side of the cassette and most of the other, combining analog atmospherics with loads of gliss guitar sounds. It floats along strangely through its duration, through walls of synthesizer squeals and spirals, bizarre industrial sequencing and loads of weird abstract effects, before coming to its conclusion by passing through melodic phases with both guitar and an effected organ. It's almost like the version of "Attack of the Giant Squid" and "Calling Cats" were both afterthoughts, despite this being the most interesting part of the casette with its droning Irrlicht-like organ and accompanying whirls and squeals. Overall, the show is quite a bit less impressive than the album to come, but it's still a worthy find, particularly if you're into American 80s electronic artists like the Nightcrawlers or David Prescott.

More live recordings are collected on another Sound of Pig cassette entitled Live & Unrehearsed 1978-79-80 which basically contains segments from four shows throughout this period. "DC Space 8/28/80" is from the band's final line up and portrays them in an improvisational jam mode similar to the space rock segments on Industrial Sabotage. "Washington Ethical Society 12/21/79" is from a year earlier, although the same line up, and is much moodier and abstract. It's a piece of the puzzle that links the Industrial Sabotage years to the earlier more electronics-focused music of 1976, showing an evolution towards bass and drums accompaniment that would be more prevalent later. "Trinity Theater 12/15/78" jumps back yet another year to a line up including original member Tom Fenwick. It's far more active than the music from Visitor Parking with lots of echoing guitars excessively rambling and a weird electronic version of "Auld Lang Syne." "Mars Studio 1/14/79" takes up the shorter part of the last side and is once again electronically dominated with lots of analog tweaking. Overall, there's not a lot to offer anybody other than the analog fanatic as the large majority of this tape is meandering, rambling improvisations with very little melodic content. Undoubtedly, an amateur sitting for a few hours at a modular would likely produce sounds not far from what the results are here.

In summary, the album is a must, Visitor's Parking a strong secondary option for the fan, and the multi-year archive an option only for the completist. The latter two definitely put the album in perspective as a more focused "best of" sort of release taken from a lot of superfluous experimentation. For the krautrock, space rock and electronic fan, this is certainly a chapter in American music worth exploring.

Mars Everywhere - 1980 - Industrial Sabotage

Mars Everywhere 
Industrial Sabotage  

01. The Enchanted Domain (12:29)
02. Steady State Theory (5:51)
03. Mare Chromium (5:41)
04. Zone Of Twilight (4:26)
05. Zöln (10:18)
06. Attack Of The Giant Squid (3:32)

- Earnie Falcone / guitar
- Barney Jones / percussion, clarinet, electronics, voice
- Carlos Garrazza / keyboards, synthesizer, voice
- Doug Hollobaugh / keyboards, synthesizer
- Greg Yaskovitch / bass, synthesizer, trumpet, autoharp
- Robin Anderson / percussion, keyboards
- Tom Fenwick / keyboards, synthesizer
- Tom Scott / bassoon

Washington DC based MARS EVERYWHERE started around 1976 as a progressive electronic outfit which had strong roots in the classic Berlin School sound. Founding members were Ernie Falcone (guitar, synthesizer) and Tom Fenwick (keyboards, synthesizer). Their first gig from the summer of 1976 was released on cassette by Sound Of Pig in the 90s entitled 'Visitor Parking'. Featuring future member Barney Jones (electronics, clarinet) the live set was an example of experimental analog electronics in the best tradition of Tangerine Dream.

The first studio recordings have been worked out for a sampler released in 1977 by Random Radar Records, the pre-cursor to Cuneiform. More live songs are collected on another Sound Of Pig cassette entitled 'Live & Unrehearsed 1978-79-80' which basically contains segments from four shows throughout this period. They expanded the instrumentation with bass (Greg Yaskovitch) as well as drums (Robin Anderson) and added space rock elements more and more. Several other line-up changes occured later on with the result that Doug Hollobaugh (synthesizers) and Carlos Garrazza (synthesizer, keyboards) came in and Barney Jones changed to the drums.

The sole regular album 'Industrial Sabotage' was released in 1980 by Random Radar Records. Unfortunately not reissued yet it's an experimental effort which blends space rock, brass and electronics to something very unique and enjoyable. Furthermore MARS EVERYWHERE gigged all over the DC area together with the Muffins but finally disbanded at the end of 1981.

 Justifiably MARS EVERYWHERE, at least this album, can be treated as an insiders' tip if you're going to point out some unique space rock classics. Hailing from the Washington DC area they started as a duo acting in the vein of the good old Berlin School producing electronic sounds coming from diverse analogue synthesizers. Several recordings from this period are existing on cassette only. But more and more the project evolved towards space rock when incorporating bass and drums and experienced several line-up changes. Now this album seems to be the band's culmination point speaking of the artistical qualities. Unfortunately soon after they disappeared from the scene.
It's wondrous that this album is not digitally re-issued yet - the original vinyl is very hard to find though - relatively expensive at any rate. Here we have a lot of contributors and the electronic component is still very dominant - what means nearly every musician handles a synthesizer or similar equipment. This will be confirmed when starting with the opener The Enchanted Domain and experimental electronics first, slightly implying some war adapted sounds I would say. But soon they contrast when fading into a melancholic gliding phase where bass and drums appear. They provide a wonderful spacey mood with sparkling organ similar background, later supported by trumpet which even serves an avantgarde touch. And then founder Ernie Falcone comes up with an expressive guitar solo. Man .. this is really impressing!

Steady State Theory now shows them blending spacey and jazzy fusionesque elements, Barney Jones uses the clarinet - stylistically this reminds me of Doug Walker (Alien Planetscapes) who unfortunately passed away far too early. The intriguing Mare Chromium leads you to other planets once again, echoing clarinet and soaring guitar are duelling - the synthesizers take a backseat here. Zöln continues with a weird vocal contribution and then again they start to another journey accompanied by twittering synths. A mysterious pulsative behaviour, many breaks and turns - this is pushing the track to something highly entertaining, wow!

'Industrial Sabotage' offers space rock off the beaten path because MARS EVERYWHERE provide a very unique and enjoyable cocktail here. Highly recommended if you have the chance to reach for a vinyl copy.

Toru Takemitsu - 2006 - Film Music by Toru Takemitsu

Toru Takemitsu 
Film Music by Toru Takemitsu 
(7CD Box Set) 

CD 01
Films directed by Masaki Kobayashi 
01. Kaidan [Ghost Stories, 1964]
02. Seppuku [Commit Ritual Suicide,1962]
03. Moeru Aki [Glowing Autumn, 1979]
04. Karami-Ai [The Inheritance,1962]
05. Nihon No Seishun [Hymn to a Tired Man, 1968]
06. Kaseki [The Fossil, 1975]

CD 02
Films directed by Masahiro Shinoda 
01. Kaseki No Mori [The Petrified Forest, 1973]
02. Chinmoku [Silence, 1971]
03. Utsukushisa To Kanashimi To [With Beauty and Sorrow, 1965]
04. Ansatsu [The Assassination, 1964]
05. Ibun Sarutobi Sasuke [Samurai Spy, 1965]
06. Hanare Goze Orin [The Ballad of Orin, 1977]
07. Akanegumo [Clouds at Sunset, 1967]

CD 03
Films directed by Nagisa Oshima 
01. Ai No Borei [In the Realm of Passion or The Ghost of Love, 1978]
02. Tokyo Senso Sengo Hiwa [A Secret Post-Tokyo War Story, 1970]
03. Natsu No Imoto [Dear Summer Sister, 1972]
04. Gishiki [The Ceremony, 1971]

Films directed by Susumu Hani 
05. Furyo Shonen [Bad Boys, 1961]
06. Mitasareta Seikatsu [A Full Life, 1962]

CD 04
Films directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara 
01. Tanin No Kao [Stranger's Face, 1966]
02. Sama Soruja [Summer Soldiers, 1972]
03. Otoshiana [The Pitfall, 1962]
04. Shiroi Asa [The White Dawn, 1964]
05. Suna No Onna [Woman in the Dunes, 1964]
06. Jose Torres [Jose Torres, 1959]
07. Moetsukita Chizu [Ruined Map, 1968]
08. Rikyu [Rikyu, 1989]

CD 05
Film directed by Akira Kurosawa 
01. Dodes’ka-Den [Dodes'ka-Den, 1970]

Film directed by Toichiro Narushima
02. Seigen-Ki [Time within Memory, 1973]

Film directed by Shiro Toyota 
03. Yotsuya Kaidan [Illusion of Blood, 1966]

Film directed by Mikio Naruse
04. Midaregumo [Bellowing Clouds or Scattered Clouds, 1967]

Film directed by Shohei Imamura 
05. Kuroi Ame [Black Rain, 1989]

CD 06
Film directed by Kon Ichikawa 
01. Kyo [Kyo, 1968]
02. Taiheiyo Hitoribocchi [Alone on the Pacific, 1963]

Film directed by Noboru Nakamura
03. Koto [Twin Sisters of Kyoto, 1963]
04. Niju-issai no Chichi [21-year old Father, 1964]
05. Ki No Kawa [The River Kino, 1966]

Film directed by Hideo Onchi 
06. Akogare [Longing or Once a Rainy Day, 1966]
07. Nyotai [Female Body or The Call of Flesh, 1964]
08. Subarashii Akujo [A Marvelous Kid or Wonderful Bad Woman, 1963]
09. Shiawase [Happiness, 1974]

CD 07
Film directed by Eizo Sugawa
01. Kemono-Michi [Beast Alley, 1965]

Film directed by Hiromichi Horikawa
02. Saigono Shinpan [Last Judgement, 1965]

Film directed by Masahisa Sadanaga
03. Sabita Honoo [Incandescent Flame, 1977]

Film directed by Masahiro Shinoda 
04. Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita [Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree, 1975]

Film directed by Kei Kumai 
05. Interview “Film Music & Me” 01: “Tenpyo no Iraka [1980]” main theme
06. Interview “Film Music & Me” 02: about “Tenpyo no Iraka [1980]”

Film directed by Ko Nakasima
07. Interview “Film Music & Me” 03: sound experiments of the Takemitsu’s debut “Kurutta Kajitsu [Crazed Fruit, 1956]”
08. Interview “Film Music & Me” 04: “Kurutta Kajitsu [Crazed Fruit, 1956]” main theme

Film directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara 
09. Interview “Film Music & Me” 05: recording scene of “Tanin No Kao [Stranger's Face, 1966]”
10. Interview “Film Music & Me” 06: People around the Japanese Nouvelle Vague
11. Interview “Film Music & Me” 07: traditional music & one-note structure

Film directed by Masaki Kobayashi 
12. Interview “Film Music & Me” 08: from “Seppuku [Commit Ritual Suicide,1962]”
13. Interview “Film Music & Me” 09: Directing of film music
14. Interview “Film Music & Me” 10: importance of Mix & responsibility of Composers

Film directed by Masahiro Shinoda 
15. Interview “Film Music & Me” 11: episode about recordings of “Kawaita Hana [Pale Flower, 1964]”
16. Interview “Film Music & Me” 12: “Kawaita Hana [Pale Flower, 1964]” 1st scene
17. Interview “Film Music & Me” 13: relationship between Films & my Music Works

Released to the day of the tenth anniversary of the death of composer Toru Takemitsu, this seven disc box set features re-releases of the early 1990's "Film Music by Toru Takemitsu", which themselves were mostly re-releases of LPs issued in 1980 although with a few contemporary films added in like Black Rain. The set contains suites from the films, rather than full tracks, making this hard to recommend to people unless they are stark fans of the "sample" compilations that used to be more common in the heyday of CD releases.

It was always going to be hard to follow up the mammoth, 55 disc Complete Takemitsu Edition set that Shogakukan published in 2003, which captured just about all of the music Takemitsu has done for film... at the cost of your next mortgage payment. Rather than trying to top it, Victor went the opposite approach of just re-releasing older compilations in a box set. While this provides a cheaper alternative for fans to sample his film work, it's also a rather lazy approach and the original suites, even if they were handpicked by Takemitsu, are none too stellar either, focusing a bit too much on films like Kwaidan (1964) and Pitfall (1962) and not enough on gems like Glowing Autumn (1979) and An Ocean to Cross (1980).

The suites themselves aren't what many might associate with the term either, as it's become more in tune with themes that are creatively edited or even composed together. Instead, this is just a collection of themes placed together with a bit of silence between the cues. The set does offer a bonus disc not found in the original JVC releases, with a few additional suites that were originally on the LPs but didn't make it on the 1990's CDs, and an audio interview with the composer... so it does offer something, but most are probably better off saving their pennies for one day getting the Complete Takemitsu Edition, or tracking down volume 5 from this set in its original 1991 release as it's really the sole truly stellar CD from this set.

The first disc in the set, which is a re-release of VICG-5124 that itself was a re-release of sorts of a 1980 LP, contains suites for six films directed by Masaki Kobayashi, ranging from the well known Kwaidan (1964) to the obscure The Fossil (1975). The music on this CD is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but given it represents two different decades of work by Toru Takemitsu it does demonstrate the always evolving scoring styles of the composer.

The first track from the CD contains almost half an hour of music from the super natural film Kwaidan (1964). Given the chapter-like nature of the original film, it's a shame this music wasn't broken up into smaller chunks for better enjoyment so the listener could place which segment of the movie they are hearing. The music plays in chronological order at least, and roughly translates as follows:

- Main Title (00:27)
- Black Hair (00:35-05:54)
- The Woman of the Snow (05:58-12:45)
- Hoichi, the Earless (12:51-23:40)
- In a Cup of Tea (23:44-27:03)

As much of a fan as I am of the 1964 film, it must be said that the soundtrack doesn't translate well to a stand alone experience. The "Main Title" is okay, as are parts of The Woman in the Snow, but Black Hair is mostly a miss sounding more like a collection of sound effects than a soundtrack. The vocal and biwa work in Hoichi, the Earless is also hit and miss, although personally don't find it that appealing making the track as a whole one that, while it enhanced the movie greatly, isn't pleasant to listen to.

Same basic principals apply to the next track, which is based on the Shochiku film Seppuku from 1962. This track also hosts a lot of biwa work, and can be hit and miss. Sadly, the audio quality on this track is also a little lacking, sounding slightly muffled and without clarity. Most of the series has pretty good audio, but this one stands out for sounding distant and in desperate need of some quality remastering.

Thankfully, the disc hits it into high gear with one of Takemitsu's very best with Glowing Autumn (1979). The movie trades in very traditional Japanese instruments for a sweeping orchestra, complete with a great use of violins that makes the track sound both epic and soothing at the same time. Sadly, the track is only a scant three minutes. Luckily, the next track, a big band style theme from Shochiku's The Inheritance, is also an enjoyable little number with lively trumpet work.

The suite for Hymn to a Tired Man (1968) is decent, not standing out too much at first but does have a nice harmonica supported segment toward the end that makes the whole suite worthwhile. Suite for The Fossil (1975) is a nice mixture of classical music, with the inclusion of a rustic guitar to give it a slightly unusual flavor that fits the themes well.

Overall, the last four suites are great... problem is that's only about a third of the total disc runtime and the first two tracks are poor enough that this disc would be one only to recommend to more dedicated Takemitsu fans. Something that is sad to say as Glowing Autumn (1979) is one of the composer's best, and more or less is buried on this disc.

Now, in terms of this disc versus earlier releases, it has the same exact content as the 1990 CD release (VICG-5124), but is notably different from the 1980 LP. The LP had the same music from Kwaidan (1964) and Seppuku, the latter might explain the lacking quality here if it was a straight transfer, while also having a suite from Samurai Rebellion (1967). Very unfortunately, that suite from Samurai Rebellion (1967) has been lost to time, not being re-released on the 1990 CD or found on any of the discs in this 2006 set either.

The second CD in the large set, and a re-release of VICG-5125, focuses on the collaborations of director Masahiro Shinoda and composer Toru Takemitsu. While this disc is a slight improvement over the first in terms of how it plays as a stand alone experience, thanks in large part to the long segment for The Ballad of Orin (1977), it's still not a particularly riveting CD on its own.

Now Shinoda was primarily a Shochiku director in his earlier career, and this CD is made up mostly of films for that studio save a collection of three 1970's films that were released by Toho. The disc starts off with one of these later films in the form of The Petrified Forest (1973). The segment for the 1973 film is about 12 minutes long, and starts off with a nice unearthly quality that highlights the sometimes abnormal scoring styles of the famed composer. After this it dives into a more traditional piano cue before getting really strange toward the end of the track, especially as the bat-like noises start to kick in.

The next track is for the religion infused Silence (1971), starting off drawing parallels to parts of Europe with a nice guitar solo while given a slightly odd twist with off key harp notes ever so often. Sadly, the track is a bit too experimental and never quite clicks with the listener, being a fairly unenjoyable listening experience for the most part.

Following this are three 1960's Shochiku films that include With Beauty and Sorrow, The Assassination and Samurai Spy. The first two aren't particularly great, but the suite for Samurai Spy is quite catchy, with a very slight Ennio Morricone-like flavor to it and is enjoyable throughout its almost nine minute duration.

After this is a more than 19 minute segment dedicated to the score for The Ballad of Orin (1977). This is another great score of Takemitsu's career, and it's easy to see why from the get-go with full orchestration combined with a slight twist in the form of an almost owl-like cry before a human cry is heard not long after. It's a nice embodiment of the later career of Takemitsu, when his extermination was toned down a little and fused with some classical orchestration to wonderful effect, with that classic approach reaching its peak years later in the score for Ran (1985), although that score was very much driven to a different drum by the desires of director Akira Kurosawa to get a classical approach that was more in tune with the style of the famous German composer Gustav Mahler.

The disc ends with a track from Clouds at Sunset, another Shochiku picture. The track starts off weak for the first few seconds, before the violin work kicks in and the track becomes a very enjoyable piece that sounds fairly different from a lot of Takemitsu's earlier work... in fact it sounds more at home with something done in the late 1970's by the composer instead and is very soothing and a great suite through and through.

Overall, the disc is an improvement over the first in the set in many ways. Not great, but has a good balance between the music that works really well and a few selections that don't to give it a middle of the road kind of feel.

Third disc in the set is a re-release of VICG-5126 and hosts some of the films of Nagisa Oshima and Susumu Hani that Toru Takemitsu composed for. Of the set, this is the least Toho oriented of the CDs, but does contain quite a bit of music from Empire of Passion (1978). Regardless, the disc is another so-so one in the series but one that is still an improvement over the first CD in the set.

The CD begins with more than 22 minutes of music from Nagisa Oshima's Empire of Passion (1978), a wise choice to lead as it's also the strongest entry on the disc. The music has a slightly sinister vibe to it, walking the fine line of being haunting but an enjoyable listening experience using flutes and harps to heighten the mode. Even though the movie is not a horror film, the soundtrack would probably rest up their as an optimal entry in the genre had it been, heightening a feeling of tension while being enjoyable when removed from the context of the film. It also has a slight traditional Japanese vibe in some of the flute work, while still going for an unearthly quality to make it a fairly solid embodiment of what made Takemitsu an interesting composer.

Following this is a selection of three ATG films that are also directed by Nagisa Oshima: A Secret Post-Tokyo War Story, Dear Summer Sister and The Ceremony. I don't believe, at the time of writing this, these three movies have anything to do with Toho... but I'm still trying to track down proof, as Toho did release Dear Summer Sister and The Ceremony on VHS in Japan but see no indication that they had originally released the movies in theaters or maintain any standing rights to the films. At any rate, this selection is so-so. A Secret Post-Tokyo War Story starts off with a really nice melody, before diving into dated contemporary electrical guitar based stuff that just doesn't hold up very well. Dear Summer Sister is also dated, being primarily horn based with some synth organ work. The selection ends on a high point, at least, with the slightly creepy suite for The Ceremony. It feels like a nice precursor to the more refined score for Empire of Passion (1978), this time using violin work to heighten the mode and while it's not as good it's still overall an enjoyable experience outside of some over the top instruments out of tune moments.

Concluding the selection are two suites for films directed by Susumu Hani: Bad Boys, a New Toho film, and A Full Life, a Shochiku film. There is about 13 minutes of music here for Bad Boys versus just 1 minute for A Full Life, and while I would like to say it's obvious why one got the lion's share over the other... it's not, and actually both movies have pleasant scores. Bad Boys has a very classical soundtrack with some slight harmonica work to achieve a slight old timey feel to the proceedings that works well. A Full Life is a very majestic composition, brought along wonderfully with violin work and the only complaint that might be had is that it sounds a bit "too safe" for Takemitsu, as there really isn't a flair of experimentation during the short runtime, but I find the track the second highlight on the disc after the first track.

Overall, the disc is buoyed by a very strong start with the Empire of Passion (1978) score and concludes well with an all too short track from A Full Life. The middle contents of the disc are a little disappointing, but there is enough that registers as a pleasant listen to give the CD a so-so feeling as a whole.

The fourth disc in the series, a re-release of VICG-5127, focuses on the work by director Hiroshi Teshigahara that Toru Takemitsu scored, which should be more familiar to people in the US thanks to a DVD box set Criterion released that contains the three of Toho distributed entries. Sadly, this disc is a low point of the box, starting strong but featuring just a few too many tracks that aren't that pleasant to listen to.

Leading off the disc is its star attraction with the lively score for The Face of Another (1966). It's a whimsical track that also has some interesting, German vocal work at the beginning with an accordion to back it up. This portion of the track is called "Waltz" in other CD releases, and seems fitting for the style of music. The next suite, for Summer Soldier (1972), is okay but fairly forgettable with its music box style that doesn't really engage the listener in anyway.

Pitfall (1962) starts the disc's descent into weaker territory with an overly experimental, jumbled mess of a 10 minute track. Any sense of rhythm goes out the door as much of this track sounds more like a practice session rather than an actual score, and is a solid miss. This is followed by the okay piano track for the short White Morning before it dives head long into another misfire for The Woman in the Dunes (1964) that is another overly experimental 10 minute track that features a lot of silence with slight bangs ever so often. As a stand alone experience, the track is fairly abysmal and hard to listen to.

The disc concludes with three tracks unrelated to Toho, with first up being the more classical sounding music for the short documentary Jose Torres. The track is pretty standard and a little forgettable, feeling like an out of place addition to Takemitsu's more unorthodox approach to music. This followed by another experimental track for Daiei's The Ruined Map, one of the rare times Takemitsu would be attached to a Daiei release and also the other gem of this disc. The suite weaves in and out of a rock song, like it's heightening the mode before classical music weaves in and out of its own. As a stand alone, it's certainly a different experience and easily the best suite in the last half of the disc. The CD then wraps up with Shochiku's Rikyu that has a very low key score, to the point it's next to impossible to be engaged by it.

Overall, the soundtrack to The Face of Another (1966) is solid and the odd score for Daiei's The Ruined Map is sometimes an unlikely treat, but everything else on this CD is a miss making this a low point for the seven disc box set.

The fifth and best disc in the series, which is a re-release of VICG-5128, drops the dedicated director approach as each track is done by a different one, including the work of Akira Kurosawa, Toichiro Narushima, Shiro Toyota, Mikio Naruse and Shohei Imamura. While this disc isn't all roses, it's certainly the most consistent and enjoyable CD in the box set.

As is often with most discs in this series, it starts off with its strongest entry with Kurosawa's Dodes'kaden (1970). The suite is a good selection of music from the film that captures the whimsical tone of the movie, while never being over the top and comedic sounding in its interpretation. There is a heavy use of horns, giving it an almost muted big band like feel that is a unique twist as only Toru Takemitsu could envision it. This transitions into another great suite for the movie Time Within Memory (1973). The score for this 1973 film is very soothing, utilizing a lot of harp and violin work, to make it one of the more enjoyable tracks... while Takemitsu keeps his normal routine with some light biwa work to make it his own and just to add a slight hint of the unusual.

Next up to bat is the score for the ghost film Illusion of Blood (1965) which might be the weakest track on the disc, but is still an interesting piece. It does host a lot of traditional Japanese styling, but is surprisingly quite different from the score the composer conducted for Kwaidan (1964) just the year before. The suite does carry with it the normal beats of a horror score, with a lot of undertone work, and uses the flute to build the tension a little, using a trick that for a faint second sounds similar to the themes for Vampire Doll (1970) before Takemitsu brings it back into a more traditional Japanese approach.

The suite for Two in the Shadow (1967) follows this up and is soothing, although not particularly memorable. It is brought to life with a lot of string work, and does pick up at times to sound a bit more foreboding, feeling different from Takemitsu's similar work. The disc then concludes with Toei's Black Rain, which is immediately obvious that its employing a much, much larger orchestra than any of the other cues on this disc, having a lot more depth to the musical workings (plus it's the only one in stereo, which helps too). The suite is a solid one from Takemitsu, with the only complaint to be had is that it depends on string work a bit too much although this is only a six minute preview of the full score.

Overall, the star attraction of the series. By intent or not, this entry is the most enjoyable as a stand alone experience and the one in the set most listeners will be prompted to listen to again and again from the box set.

The sixth disc in the series, and the last re-issue which in this case is of VICG-5129, features the works of three directors who collaborated with Toru Takemitsu, and include Kon Ichikawa, Noboru Nakamura and Hideo Onchi. While not consistenly enjoyable, the disc has a few so-so suites mixed with a few that are more interesting and enjoyable.

Beginning the CD is, for a change, one of the weaker suites from the disc for Kyo, the first of two films from Kon Ichikawa. The track lacks the rhythm to really engage the listener and seems to meander a bit. This gives way to the star attraction of the disc, though, with Nikkatsu's Alone Across the Pacific. This is a very lively track, starting off with violin and harmonic work, before eventually pulling out a guitar for something that sounds, fittingly, like a South Seas adventure.

The middle portion of the disc has three suites for the films of Noboru Nakamura, starting with the awkward one for Twin Sisters of Kyoto that intros with an almost clock-like tune and sadly never really builds to anything satisfactory. 21 Year Old Father is a decent suite, starting off unremarkable but breaking out the string instruments to make it sound fairly sweeping and interesting. The last track is the worst from the disc, featuring a mixture between experimentation that doesn't really click and uncaptivating string work, making this rather long 18 minute suite drag on a little.

The disc wraps with the work of Hideo Onchi, whose four films here are also all Toho related. This starts out with the decent Once a Rainy Day (1966), which features slow guitar work and is otherwise okay but never really gripping. This leads into the more interesting Woman's Body (1964), which has a slow tango-like theme that, while not riveting, at least stands out along with the nice string instrument segment that follows. Kind of a shame more music from the film wasn't included here. Next is the similarly named, and sounding, suite for Wonderful Bad Woman (1963) which is guitar supported and sounds again like a slow tango... before it kicks into a full song. Now I had a tough time telling the language being used (Italian? Portuguese?) but it's a very lively song that certainly stands out and is a little infectious, making one want to play the track again and again. The disc then concludes with the not bad but instantly forgettable Happiness (1974), which is a decent low key suite but doesn't grab the listener.

Overall, the disc is one of the more enjoyable entries in the series, but all the same seems to do almost as much bad as it does right, and makes for an uneven listening experience even if there is some good music here.

The bonus, or special, disc in this set might be of most interest to collectors... or the least. It doesn't contain a whole lot of music, losing the director focus of the previous six discs, while it mostly focuses on interviews with Toru Takemitsu from 1980, but does contain several suites that were previously unreleased on CD.

In terms of music, the disc starts off with four suites that, while they were released on Volume 10 of the original LP release of Film Music By Toru Takemitsu, are new to CD. The first of these is Beast Alley (1965). The soundtrack to this film is notably dated, but intentionally so as it's going for a 1950's-like vibe from the decade before. The music isn't particularly gripping, but does an okay sinister-like motif toward the end. Next up is the vocal led The Last Judgement (1965), which is a soothing track to start off with until it loses the vocals and goes in a couple of directions, although mostly with a carefree vibe that is enjoyable. Shochiku's Incandescent Flame follows, which is an interesting mix of classical music set to a light Jazz motif. The music selection concludes with a bizarre suite from Under the Blooming Cherry Trees (1975). It starts off with a light moaning sound in the background, slightly ominous, before sounding like a more traditional Japanese track with heavy flute work. The bizarreness then kicks up a step with more moaning and chanting before someone starts panting on mic. The track is a trip and, sadly, not really enjoyable.

After about 22 minutes of music, the disc then focuses on the 48 minute segment called "Interview: Film Music and Me". This segment is largely interviews, in Japanese, done with Toru Takemitsu back in 1980. It does have a few music themes woven within as separate tracks, though, for example it starts off with the incredible "Main Theme" to An Ocean to Cross (1980), which is the highlight of the disc. Being one of Takemitsu's best scores, it's a shame more music isn't found on this box set for it. At any rate, the rest of the tracks are mixed with mostly interviews conducted with the composer about his styles or about recording a particular film, although most of it is kept pretty general. Five different films are covered in total here, each getting their own theme with the exception being The Face of Another (1966). If you are a diehard Takemitsu fan, it can be interesting to hear him describe his work, but it's not the type of content that will be listened to more than once.

Overall, as a bonus disc, it does a fairly nice job. I would have preferred more music, but does offer some nice content not found else where which nets the disc another so-so ranking.