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Stomu Yamash'ta - Red Buddha CD (album) cover

RED BUDDHA

Stomu Yamash'ta

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I had always thought of Yamashta as more of a syntheist than a percussionist, but on this one it's just Stomu on percussion. I've got a couple of better percussion oriented albums - George Gruntz - Percussion Profiles (ECM not available on CD) and The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam - Go Between (with Bill Bruford). Compared to the first two Go session albums, this one's more of a novelty than essential from a prog perspective.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the CD booklet, there's pictures of the original sheet music, so it was a composed affair. He was a student of jazz drumming at Boston's Berklee School of Jazz, but this has more of a world music feel to it. It's been hard to find much more information on the internets (sic sick sick) about it.

Stomu has a decent discography, but last time I checked only the Complete Go sessions, Sea & Sky, and this one are currently in print or at least readily availabe from a U.S. perspective. RB and S&S do make nice bookends to the Go sessions. The later being an orchestral progressive electronic synthesizer dominated affair.

I've only had Red Buddha a couple of months, so maybe one day it will completely hook me. I think it suffers a little from being overshadowed by some of the new music out these days (first half 2007). If you're a percussion nut though, this might just be an excellent addition to your collection. It's been my pleasure to add to the P.A., particularly since the credits were so minimal.

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Send comments to Slartibartfast (BETA) | Report this review (#120510)
Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

This Japanese percussionist/keyboardist started in the early 70's, but first started working in France for avant-garde theatres, then would move on to the UK, where his real solo career would start. Red Buddha is the first document, and it is probably Stomu's least accessible, but nevertheless a stunning achievement as there is mostly just percussion instruments making the two sides of this album. Both tracks make the duration of their respective vinyl face between 15 and 16 minutes.

While the execution of the music is stunning and very impressive, the compositions are anything but easy; with the tracks often nearing "musique concrete" with all of those tuned percussion instruments. The tracks are not improvisations, the music being clearly written and it was for the Red Buddha theatre in Paris. Difficult to describe this type of music, but it's sometimes dissonant, modern classical, percussive and exclusive of those not paying close attention to it.

Interestingly there are many Yamashta albums still waiting for a Cd release, when this album has received its second release (first was on Vanguard), but it still doesn't make it any less accessible for progheads whom might have a chance at finding the album interesting for a few listen, but I doubt they'll ever get much more than the first few in, before losing interest.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#164191)
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permalink

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