Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1977 - Go Too

Stomu Yamash'ta 
Go Too

01. Prelude (3:10 )
02. Seen You Before (6:14)
03. Madness (6:02)
04. Mysteries Of Love (6:44)
05. Wheels Of Fortune (5:37)
06. Beauty (5:11)
07. You And Me (6:59)
08. Ecliptic (2:37)

- Stomu Yamashta / synthesizers, piano, tympani, percussion
- Klaus Schulze / keyboards
- Peter Robinson / keyboards
- Al DiMeola / guitar
- Doni Harvey / guitar, vocals
- Jess Roden / lead vocals
- Linda Lewis / lead vocals
- Paul Jackson / bass
- Michael Shrieve / drums
- Brother James / percussion

This is a very eclectic fusion-disco-pop-electronic record. The 2 first tracks of side 1 consist in the following sequence: a spacy & cosmic arrangement by Klaus Schulze, followed by a moog solo a la Chick Corea, followed by a jazzy disco song with sexy female vocals, full of nervous symphonic arrangements in the background, then followed by a visceral electric guitar solo by Al Di Meola (Seen You Before)! The mediocre next pop song "Madness", characterized by hysterical female lead vocals, remind the bland solo career of George Duke, especially his "Reach for it" album. The side one concludes with "Mysteries of love", a melancholic & sentimental track reminding the Alan Parson's Project assisted by a background orchestra: the electric guitar solo is particularly VERY good!
The side 2 begins with "Wheels of Fortune", another prog related catchy disco pop song filled with sexy female lead & backing vocals and background orchestral arrangements. The tender & graceful and pleasant "Beauty", the second track, is a bit similar to "Mysteries of Love": Alan Parson's stuff seems again a source of inspiration here: Al DiMeola plays a gracious Spanish guitar solo; it ends with whale sounds-like and church bells. Klaus Schulze comes back for the intro of "You and Me" with a melodramatic & futuristic keyboards arrangement; it does not last for a long time since another rhythmic poppy song a la Patrick Moraz full of sexy female vocals takes place. The last track, "Ecliptic", is a mysterious floating electronic track reminding a bit the Tangerine Dream's intro of the track "Remote viewing" of the Exit album.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1976 - Go Live From Paris

Stomu Yamash'ta 
Go Live From Paris

01. Space Song (2:29)
02. Carnival (1:18)
03. Windspin (8:17)
04. Ghost Machine (3:51)
05. Surfspin (2:12)
06. Time Is Here (6:58)
07. Winner Loser (5:26)
08. Solitude (2:01)
09. Nature (4:27)
10. Air Voice (2:19)
11. Crossing The Line (5:33)
12. Man Of Leo (14:22)
13. Stellar (1:22)
14. Space Requiem (3:14)

- Stomu Yamashta / percussion, piano, synthesizers
- Steve Winwood / vocals, keyboards
- Michael Shrieve / drum kit
- Klaus Schultze / synthesizers
- Al Di Meola / solo guitar
- Jerome Rimson / bass
- Pat Thrall / guitar
- Brother James / congas
- Karen Friedman / vocals

Here we are having a supergroup on the stage in Paris. Very relaxed and inspired performance with a special mixture of styles from Soul (Steve Winwood) to Electronic (Klaus Schulze, Stomu Yamash'ta) and Fusion (Al DiMeola). Michael Shrieve, who also played with SANTANA, acts as the wellknown proficient and accentuated drummer. Remarkable are also the brilliant vocals exchanges of Winwood and Karen Friedman. It's a little bit tricky - only Friedman is pointed out for additional vocals but you can hear also some other female backing voices.
The band is presenting the studio album 'Go' live with nearly the same line-up, but extended, with more improvisations. The release consists of 6 longer tracks - some of them have jam character - which take turns with spacy electronic breaks and piano interludes. Don't know why but the chronological order of the songs has been changed (the same with the 'The Complete Go Sessions').

So correctly it starts with LP 2 and the electric intro Solitude and Winner Loser closes finally with the band introduction. The beginning of Nature is guided by a piano and further on the song developes wonderful atmospheric and melodic. Crossing the Line follows with excellent vocals. And not to forget the splendid guitar work by Al DiMeola.

Man of Leo is the longest track, grooving and against with DiMeola's intense soloing. Wind Spin is an instrumental jam pressed ahead with a funky/fusion bass and then fades into the uptempo Ghost Machine with a Jazz/Rock attitude. Time Is Here is midtempo, more soul/funk, especially highlighted by Karen Friedman's expressive interaction with Winwood. Winner Loser in the end is written by Winwood and remembers much at his times with TRAFFIC.

A great performance from this band which units some extraordinary musicians. Stomu Yamashta restrains himself to allow some other members to reap the fruits of their work. This release was later (2005) added to the compilation 'The Complete Go Sessions'.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1976 - Go

Stomu Yamash'ta 

01. Solitude (2:57)
02. Nature (2:32)
03. Air Over (2:32)
04. Crossing the Line (4:46)
05. Man of Leo (2:02)
06. Stellar (2:53)
07. Space Theme (3:12)
08. Space Requim (3:20)
09. Space Song (2:00)
10. Carnival (2:46)
11. Ghost Machine (2:06)
12. Surfspin (2:25)
13. Time is Here (2:46)
14. Winner/Loser (4:10)

- Stomu Yamashta / keyboards, percussion
- Steve Winwood / vocals, keyboards
- Michael Shrieve / drum kit
- Klause Schulze / synthesizers
- Rosko Gee / bass guitar
- Chris West / rhythm guitar
- Pat Thrall / solo and rhythm guitar
- Julian Marvin / rhythm guitar
- Al Dimeola / solo guitar
- Hisako Yamashta / violin, vocals
- Bernie Holland / guitar
- Lennox Langton / congas
- Brother James / congas
- Thunderthighs / backing vocals
- Paul Buckmaster / orchestral arrangements

This is the album through which Stomu Yamash'ta finally gained international recognition, not least because of Winwood's presence, after Traffic's slow demise. Although there are 14 tracks (7 aside), the album is meant to be one single work, because the vinyl shows no space between the tracks. The album's artwork is derived off the East Wind/Freedom artwork, this Yamash'ta project (the wrote all but one of the "songs") was a high profile, necessitating a full orchestra but Winwood has an all-important role on keys and vocals as well as writing the finale. Among the other stars are Michael Shrieve (ex-Santana and you can hear a bit of this influence at times on this album) and not mentioned on the album cover (or picture), Al DiMeola and Klaus Schulze.
Slowly rising from naught, first with space whispers, soon transformed into a beautiful melancholic symphonic movement, Solitude is a logical introduction to the first sung passage Nature, where Winwood's voice is probably at it's best. The first side is a succession of structured songs linked with instrumental passages, be they calm or more heroic/dramatic. While the strings can approach the cheesy, some of the songs can be Santana-esque (courtesy of DiMeola & Shrieve) with a funky touch (much more prominent a feature on next year's Go Too album), the whole thing works quite well.

The flipside gets even better, with the same spacey Schulze intro, later on a slightly dissonant movement including the orchestra and again later a wild funk track Time Is Here with the orchestra playing the rhythm. Only the closing track is not fitting as well (it's written by Winwood) and it sounds more like Traffic (Factory/Eagle era)

If you're not afraid of a little extra cheese on your turntable's stylus, Go is one outstanding album that should really be heard by everyone and certainly progheads around the world.

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.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1974 - One By One

Stomu Yamash'ta 
One By One

01. One By One / Hey Man / One By One Reprise (10:43)
02. Black Flame (3:30)
03. Rain Race (1:30)
04. Tangerine Beach (3:25)
05. Superstar / Loxycycle (12:23)
06. Nurburgring (2:34)
07. Seasons (1:30)
08. Accident (1:40)
09. At Tangerine Beach (2:28)

- Stomu Yamash'ta / percussion
- Hisako Yamash'ta / violin
- Hugh Hopper / bass
- Brian Gascoigne / keyboards and synthesizers
- Sammi Abu / vocals, congas and flute
- Gary Boyle / guitar
- Nigel Morris / drum kit
- Frank Tankowski / guitar (5)
- Bernie Holland / guitar (5)
- Mike Travis / drum kit (5)

Second Stomu album under the East Wind group name, with almost the same line-up, this album has a striking artwork photo of Stomu shot by future famous Mick Rock. The m album is actually the soundtrack of a movie (I've never seen it) of the movie of the same name, which appears to be about motor racing. Most of the music comes in a continuous flow, but it can't avoid the pitfall of soundtracks: like so many of those, the music serves the image and without the images, the music seems at times completely directionless, although One By One is not catastrophic in this regard.

The album starts (purposely?) on the 200 MPH title track suite (lasting almost 11 mins), which is a fast- driving jazz-rock, while the middle movement Hey Man is sung by percussionist/flutist Sami Abu, talking a sweet funk overtone, and the suite-closing Reprise sees Boyle's guitar solo soaring like an eagle over Hopper's superb bass work, which is quite different than what he had gotten used to on Soft Machine albums. The cosmic eerie opening Black Flame contrast with the solemnity of the rest of the track, a dramatic classical theme, played partly with classic instruments than with synthesizers. Rain race is is probably the best moment of the album with a superb Fender Rhodes over a string section, too bad its so short and followed by a fairly cheesy classical string closing Tangerine Beach, even if it had started well enough with a gloomy Moog trick.

The flipside attacks on a funk guitar over a square rhythm, and Yamashta's brother's violin and Abu's vocals and congas. While the 12-mins+ Superstar/Loxycycle (the only track played by other musicians than East Wind) goes through many changes, the track veers towards a jazz-funk that had by now overtaken the previous jazz-rock in most of the international JR/F scene. Nurburgring (it was at the time the longest circuit in the world measuring some 23 km long) is a quite interesting track, probably the proggiest of the album, but it's followed by a pointless Four Seasons passage (then again without the images of the movie, who says pointless) from Vivaldi. Accident is a wild musical free-for-all completely chaotic and followed by a cheesy mock chamber quartet piece to close the debate, echoing the other Tangerine track of the other side.

Yet another interesting album like Freedom, Floating Music and the Go project, OBO is certainly in Stomu's best five albums, although for a better enjoyment of this album, I think it would certainly gain seeing the movie for which the music was composed.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1973 - Freedom Is Frightening

Stomu Yamash'ta 
Freedom Is Frightening

01. Freedom Is Frightening
02. Rolling Nuns
03. Pine On The Horizon
04. Wind Words

- Stomu Yamash'ta / kit & percussion
- Hisako Yamash'ta / violin
- Hugh Hopper / bass guitar
- Gary Boyle / guitars (electric and acoustic)
- Brian Gascoigne / keyboards, synthesizers, vibraphone

 Certainly Yamash'ta's most acclaimed album by connoisseurs anyway, even if the Go experiments are much better known because of the high profile musicians. Apparently East wind was supposed to the group of musicians accompanying Stomu , but Freedom Is Frightening is the only album (to my knowledge anyway) bearing that name. As with all too many of Stomu's works, this album cries out for a Cd reissue. Even the original vinyl with its excellent day/night draw, artwork gracing both sides of the cover, leaves few infos as to what and why in the album.
Just four announced tracks on this album (but there is a separate short vocal piece at the end of Rolling nuns), and they are stunners too. Opening on the slow developing title track, the musicians start very atmospherically, to slowly shift to early Barrett-less Floyd, gradually introducing a harder edge music through organs and electric guitar, By half the track, they are rocking solid with an infectious spacey groove, which continues to grow until its death. Rolling Nuns is a much quicker tempoed affair based on a funky bass (SM's Hugh Hopper is brilliant throughout the album) that moves from organ to splendid quick guitars (Gary Boyle , ex-Auger and future Isotope is also excellent), and the track ends in the afore- mentioned unnamed celestial vocal movement, lasting roughly two minutes.

The flipside takes on a much jazzier tone with Pine On The Horizon, but there is an annoying fiddle throughout most of the first part, but once it stops, the track veers red-hot funk-jazz with some good brass parts, then the track slowly dying on organs growls, spitting their guts out. The closing aerial Wind Words (so calm that it sounds new-age avant-la-lettre) starting with a melancholic violin, then irritatingly strident electric piano.

One of the Yamashta album's begging for a Cd reissue although still flawed, this album is warmly recommended as an introduction to his 70's career,

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1973 - The Man from the East

Stomu Yamash'ta 
The Man from the East

01. Sunrise 2.50
02. My Little Friend 4.00
03. What a Way to Live in Modern Times 10.00
04. Mountain Pass 3.35
05. Mandala 11.35
06. Memory of Hiroshima 8.40

Stomu Yamash'ta: various percussion
Morris Pert: drums and percussion
Peter Robinson: electric piano
Alyn Ross: bass guitar
Gary Boyle: guitar on Mountain Pass
Rohin Thompson soprano saxophone Mountain Pass

The musicians on What a Way to Live in Modern Times and Mandala:
Hisako Yamash'ta violin and shamisen
Joji Hirota claves and vocal
Hideo Funamoto: triangle , cowbells and assorted percussion
Shiro Murata: flute
Yoshio Taeira: piano
Goro Kunii vocal
Mikako Takeshita: laughter
Maggie Newlands: organ
Phil Plant: bass guitar

Releases information
Tracks 3 & 5 were recorded live at the Carre Thorigny Theatre Paris on 30th October 1972; the remainder were recorded at Advision Studios, London, in November 1972
This is the first recording to be made by Morris Pert's new group, as yet unnamed, formed after the disintegration of Come To The Edge. It is a trio consisting of Morris on kit, Peter Robinson on Fender Piano and Alyn Ross on bass guitar; they played on the studio tracks. The complete list of musicians on tracks (i) (ii) (iv) (vi) is as follows:

The Red Buddha Theatre was formed in Japan in 1971, after working there for some months they were brought to Europe for Summer '72 by Stomu Yamash'ta, the company's producer, director, composer; in July and August they were the sensation of the Avignon Festival. After a brief but successful visit to London's I.C.A. in August they returned to France to take up residency at the Carre Thorigny, a brand new theatre in Paris' oldest district, Marais. Their stay was eventually extended to January 1973 when the Company had to leave to commence a month at the Roundhouse in London. They play perpetually to packed houses and critical acclaim seems quite normal . . .

Stomu Yamash'ta is known to us as a virtuoso percussionist, a mime and musician in whose body music seems to flame, whose mind cries through the medium of his instruments: someone, as Henze put it, who makes visible the music of our time. Now he appears in a new role, as animator\author\composer directing the Red Buddha Theatre: 35 young Japanese actors, dancers and musicians, offering an uncommonly exhilarating, attractive, fascinating theatrepiece, "The Man from the East".

Though none of the performers can have been born on August 6, 1945, they are of the generation who still live in its shadow:rejecting the ethos of a society which madethat possible, but embracing things like love, and laughter, and the beauty of nature. Also the beauty of art. There is nothing sloppy about the show which is enacted by disciplined bodies, and played by musicians of fine tempered technique. Stomu draws freely from many sources: kabuki, traditional Japanese music, pop. The Edge, the Western group with whom he has often worked, also take part in this.

Though there is horror in the piece, there is and the gaiety of which marks the work of Bread and Puppets, but less despair easy vitality. They make one feel that there is hope for the world when young people can be so open; can shake off their fathers' guilt by having no part in their meaner ways of thinking; when they can so merrily and unbitterly mock the life of crowded subways, supermarkets, and offices where the telephone rings nonstop. Illusion perhaps, but a good, happy illusion a dream which more and more young people are endeavouring to live, and a good dream for the middleaged, caught in the horrid life, to enjoy whenever they can. A dream which Stomu and his accomplished ensemble communicate with elegant exhuberance.

Andrew Porter Financial Times 15 August 1972

Yamash'ta / Henze / Takemitsu / Davies - 1972 - Prison Song

Yamash'ta / Henze / Takemitsu / Davies
Prison Song

01. Prison Song 6:43
02. Seasons 16:30
03. Turris Campanarum Sonantium 17:12

Composed By
Hans Werner Henze (tracks: 1),
Peter Maxwell Davies (tracks: 3),
Toru Takemitsu (tracks: 2)
Performer – Stomu Yamash'ta

Recorded at Decca Studio 3, West Hampstead, November 1971.
Track 1 was composed in 1971 (specifically for this recording), based on "The Leg-Irons" (from the Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh).
Track 2 was composed in 1970 in two versions (four performers vs. one performer), then revised in 1971 (the version presented here). The revised version was first performed by Stomu Yamash'ta in Paris at the concert of the Journées de Musique Contemporaine in 1971. All instruments made by François and Bernard Baschet.
Track 3 was composed in December 1970 (specifically for Stomu Yamash'ta).

Stomu Yamash'ta is a Japanese composer, percussionist and keyboardist. He is best known for his acrobatic and innovative playing techniques and for combining world music with pop and jazz in his fusion super group Go which featured notable musicians such as Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola and Klaus Schulze. Before all that though, Yamash'ta was known in classical circles as a percussion virtuoso. He had been the tympanist to the Kyoto and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras at only fourteen years of age and made his concert debut in 1969 at only sixteen. Six years later, Yamash'ta attained worldwide recognition after receiving a standing ovation for his performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa in Hewell Tircuit's Concerto for Solo Percussionist and Orchestra. He is heard on this album performing Hans Werner Henze's Prison Song, Toru Takemitsu's Seasons, and Peter Maxwell Davies' Turris Campanarum Sonantium. Henze wrote Prison Song specifically for Yamash'ta. The piece incorporates prerecorded tape that represents sounds heard outside a prison cell. The player (Yamash'ta) represents the prisoner who is conjuring sounds from anything found inside his cell to match it to those heard beyond. Takemitsu wrote two different versions of Seasons, one for four performers and one for a solo performer. The instruments heard here were crafted by gifted instrument sculptors Francois and Bernard Baschet. All are made of metal save for the "trombone" which is made of glass. The solo performer responds to sounds on a tape prerecorded by Takemitsu himself which represents ones reaction to the subtle changes of the seasons in Japan. Taken from the inner notes:

          "Turris Campanarum Sonantium (Bell-Tower) was written for S. Yamash'ta in December 1970 and is played entirely on bells and metal surfaces. The performer enters the playing area very slowly, sounding a tiny Indian bell, or a set of jingles. Section I: He moves, again very slowly, along a "course" of eight large handbells placed in his path, sounding these in the traditional manner as he moves towards the playing position for Section II (Incipit Stedman Doubles). The player faces a set permutation of five numbers, each number representing a pitch, which should be sounded over a "drone". This is played on six cup-shaped Japanese temple gongs (kim), the largest of which is sounded throughout by rubbing around the rim with a leather-covered mallet. The gongs are placed on pedal tympani, which, when the pedals are worked varies the pitch level sounding. The tempo is lento, the dynamic, piano. Section III (Incipit Double Bob) for eight handbells, suspended, to be struck with two beaters. This touch starts at a low speed and dynamic; gradually a climax is reached by adding other metal surfaces (gongs, cymbals, etc.). The "drone" here, chosen by Yamash'ta, consists of a tape of Japanese Buddhist monks, chanting. Section IV uses the "set" tempo and dynamic of Section II, but now played on steel (Trinidad) drums and resonating cylinders. At the conclusion, the player leaves the playing area again sounding the small bell of jingles with which he entered."

This is one of my personal favorite percussion records. I hope you enjoy it.

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.

Stomu Yamash'ta & the Horizon - 1972 - Sunrise from West Sea

Stomu Yamash'ta & the Horizon
Sunrise from West Sea

01. Sunrise From West Sea Part: 1 18:45
02. Sunrise From West Sea Part: 2 17:58

Recorded live at Yamaha Hall, Tokyo
April 18, 1971

Hideakira Sakurai, electric koto, shamisen, percussion
Masahiko Sato, electric organ
Stomu Yamash'ta, percussion
Takehisa Kosugi, electric violin

Yeah, sorta like Taj Mahal Travellers if every once in a while they exploded into highly rhythmic noise.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1971 - Red Buddha

Stomu Yamash'ta 
Red Buddha

01. Red Buddha (15:21)
02. As Expanding As (15:52)

- Stomu Yamash'ta / percussion

STOMU YAMASH'TA was born in 1947 in Kyoto Japan, with the name Yamashita Tsutomu.
Since the late 60's he has developed an international reputation as a composer and performer (percussion, keyboards) of serious music, jazz rock fusion, rock, electronica as well as multi-media projects for the theatre, a ballet score ("Shukumei" ) and cinematic soundtracks. He studied jazz. He has toured and played with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the rock group Come to The Edge. YAMASH'TA has recorded not only jazz rock fusion and rock but music by the serious modern composers Maxwell-Davis and Henze.

He came to Europe in the early 70's working briefly in France on theatrical multi-media projects (e.g. the precursor for "Red Buddah Theatre" and "The Man From The East") before moving across the Channel to England. Through the 70's YAMASH'TA recorded the majority of his 70's albums in the UK but alas very few of the Island Records recordings have been issued on CD. He has composed the soundtracks of the David Bowie film "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (which borrowed significantly from earlier recordings), Ken Russell's "The Devils", and race car documentary "One By One".

STOMU YAMASH'TA is probably best known nowadays as the leader of the supergroup GO with STEVIE WINWOOD, AL DIMEOLA, KLAUS SCHULZ and MICHAEL SHRIEVE for three albums and related performances. However, prior to forming GO, YAMASH'TA played not a small part in nurturing musicians who were subsequently better known for playing in important 70's UK jazz rock groups, e.g. BRAND X and ISOTOPE - this is worth expanding since this aspect of his work (relevant to Progarchives) is often neglected on the web. YAMASH'TA attracted musicians such as MORRIS PERT and GARY BOYLE (previous known for working with BRIAN AUGER) to his "Red Buddah Theatre" project/recording (one of the few albums available on CD) and then on several later recordings. MORRIS PERT with that other future BRAND X player PETER ROBINSON recorded first as SUNTREADER. YAMASH'TA recruited ex SOFT MACHINIST HUGH HOPPER to what would become the critically acclaimed 1973 recording "Freedom Is Frightening" - one of those albums that is crying out for CD release, with BOYLE and HOPPER working together for the first time. GARY BOYLE went on to form ISOTOPE, which of course HUGH HOPPER joined for their second recording "Illusion". In 1974 YAMASH'TA formed the band EAST WIND.

After leaving Europe in 1980, STOMU YAMASH'TA retired to a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Such retirement was brief and he then released a number of recordings employing synthesisers, pre-recorded taped sounds, orchestral instruments and percussion. Of these recordings the so-called 'space music' of the 1983 record "Sea and Sky" is available on CD. He continues to occasionally release albums in this electronica/ambient genre.His 'Space Theme' was used by the BBC on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series).

Stomu Yamash'ta hit it big with his project GO that included well renowned musicians such as Mike Shrieve, Klaus Schulze, Steve Winwood and Al di Meola. So much so that the selftitled album from 76 is nigh on omnipresent in every household with folks over a certain age. Never fails.....even my uncle, who is famous for not giving a damn about any form of music besides the one he's dancing to at the annual family get-together - even he's got a copy....and this is a man who refers to Motown tunes as hippie music...

Well as much as I like the GO project, I am much more enthralled by this early offering of his called 'Red Buddha'. Now many of you out there probably know Yamash'ta as a synthesist, but fact of the matter is that he started out as a percussionist, a damn fine one at that!

Red Buddha is actually the name of a theatre in Paris, to which this album was recorded for. Yamash'ta had been studying the jazz traditions of the west, and they had brought him to Europe where a new explorative mindset seemed to adorn every major city's sparkling undergrowth. Paris, in particular, being one of the hot spots.

The music is all instrumental and all about the beat, the drums. There are no synths, no guitars no nothing besides a boot-full of percussion instruments, some more exotic than others. The end result amounts to something like the expression one finds in the electronic quarters with big spacious slabs of sound coming awfully close to the kind you'll find on an early Klaus Schulze record...only it's all accomplished through rhythms - snaking and twirling.

What really sets Red Buddha apart from other such proto stomp records is the way Yamash'ta seems to have fiddled around with sound treatments. Either by tuning a drum a certain way or simply by placing the mic somewhere groovy. It works though, damn how it works! Everything from soft hand drum splashes to strange modal sounding entities that flicker about like lonely candlesticks sitting on a windy field.

The first time you hear this you'll probably write it off as a late hippie project with some longhaired guy banging away on pots and pans. Please try again is all I can say. Contrary to common sense the music is fully orchestrated. The cd comes with the original sheet music. Sheet music?!?!? Oh yes. All of this rhythmic mayhem started out as a wee brainworm inside the enigmatic mind of Yamash'ta...........then again, when you return to this album you pick up new shadings - new splashes.....and woe and behold something akin to melodies. The 10th time you listen the world opens up and every fibre of your body twitches and bobs to the beat and suddenly it seems as if those elusive melodies you'd been sniffing earlier on now are way upfront, in your face and bizarrely beautiful. A vast tapestry of beats - like a thousand hearts beating in tune from obscure angles and different corners of the world.

Think of Red Buddha as one of those tricky 3D pictures you have to be cross-eyed to see: 'OH A DINOSAUR!!!'. You better believe it, and what a dinosaur! This is without a doubt my favourite Yamash'ta record. It eclipses everything that comes after. Why? Ingenuity, imagination and execution. Red Buddha should be mandatory listening to anyone interested in the early progressive scene, and here I'm talking progressive with a huge P - yet without ever becoming tedious academic music that only speaks to mathematicians and Scottish hermits. This one always manages to refuel my senses. Like a fiery phoenix or Buddha doing the jig - you decide.

Stomu Yamash'ta - 1971 - Metempsychosis

Stomu Yamash'ta 

01. Metempsychosis I 18:40
02. Metempsychosis II 18:15

Drums - Isao Yomoda
Electric Bass - Masaaki Ito
Percussion - Stomu Yamash'ta
Saxophone [Alto] - Isao Kimura , Kazumi Oguro
Saxophone [Baritone] - Shigeru Hirano
Saxophone [Tenor] - Mamoru Mori , Seiji Inoue
Trombone - Masamichi Uetaka , Takahide Uchida , Takashi Hayakawa , Teruhiko Kataoka
Trumpet - Shin Kazuhara , Kazumi Takeda , Shuji Atsuta , Yoshikazu Kishi

Subtitled: Composition For Percussion And Jazz Orchestra.
Recorded January 27, 1971 at Nippon Columbia Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Very rare early album of Stomu Yamashta ,recommended highly in Julian Cope's book.On this rather
 devastating record yamashta works together with Masahiko Satoh.Never released on CD.

 Composed by Satoh, and recorded with Satoh on piano, Yamash'ta on
 percussion and Miyama Toshiyuki & New Herd Orchestra on everything else.

Stomu Yamash'ta's debut album is ambitious contemporary avant and free-jazz mix, composed by Masahiko Satoh. Masahiko was graduated by Berklee School Of Music, and after his return to Japan in 1968 he became one of leading avant-jazz Japanese musician. His solo release "Amalgamation" from the same 1971 year is absolute avant-prog masterpiece.
There on their common project with another Japanese fusion future star Stomu Yamash'ta things don't go such a good way. Masahiko's compositions (album contains two only long free form compositions) are ambitious, but the realisation isn't successful at all. Stomu Yamash'ta plays percussion with support of Masahiko on piano and Masahiko's regular collaborator of that time brass section based ensemble T. Miyama & His New Herd.