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Hiro Yanagida - Hirocosmos CD (album) cover


Hiro Yanagida


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.04 | 12 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars When I got this album I was expecting to hear Japanese psychedelia in the mood of Far East Family Band. This is not. I was happily surprised to discover a Jazzy-Canterbury album, with some tracks very close to early Camel, and the surprise is bigger if we think that the release year is 1973, the same year of Camel's debut.

"The Sea of Tempest" is a relaxing instrumental with a jazzy interlude in the middle. It's followed by a sax-driven track: "Ode to Taurus" that's a progressive-jazz piece. In interlude of the track the excellent keyboards of Hiro Yanagida replace the sax. When the sax is back, it's jazz-fusion until the end.

The story doesn't change with the following track: "Breaking Sound-Barrier". Another excellent jazz track for bass, drums and a fantastic piano, then a clean jazz-guitar solo . No more Canterbury here, just jazz-fusion. Some keyboard sounds backgrounding the guitar solo add a spacey touch to the track, then the instruments stop leaving the keyboard alone. A jazz coda closes the track.

"Happy Cruise" starts on percussion and Santana-like guitar. When it calmes down it's like Latimer and Bardens are playing in the band. Only Camel explored this kind of soft-jazz in the late 70s, some years after Hiro. After the spacey section, it's again jazz with bass, drums and Fender piano. A tempo slow-down then back to Santana. What a track!

"Rockomotion" starts with bass and keyboard. It makes me think to the jazz moments of Caravan's Waterloo Lily. In the Caravan's album they are only "moments". The guitar solo is incredibly good and moves the track to the funky side.

"Uncertain Trip" is a trip. You can hear Camel in the beginning and ELP in the following...but it's just Hiro Yanagida. This is the most "progressive rock" track of the album. I think the tempo is 5/4, but with cats you can never say for sure. In the final the tracks fades out and the coda returns to the beginning, with acoustic guitar and sax.

The closing track "Time for Reverie" starts very quietly with electric piano and sax. Bass and drums are in the background. This makes me think to Scott Cossu, an american newage- jazz pianist who explored this kind of music in the 80s.

Hiro Yanagida, at least in this album, was in advance with his times. The album doesn't have any weak moment and has the right to have its place in any prog collection.

4+ stars

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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