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Stomu Yamash'ta

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Stomu Yamash'ta Stomu Yamash'ta, Steve Winwood & Michael Shrieve: Go album cover
3.52 | 53 ratings | 13 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Solitude (2:57)
2. Nature (2:32)
3. Air Over (2:32)
4. Crossing The Line (4:46)
5. Man Of Leo (2:02)
6. Stellar (2:53)
7. Space Theme (3:12)
8. Space Requim (3:20)
9. 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)

Total time 40:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Stomu Yamash'ta / percussion, timpani (3,10), synths (String, Minimoog, mini Korg), composer, arranger & co-producer
- Steve Winwood / vocals, piano, organ (5-11), electric piano (6), guitar & synth (14), composer & arranger (14)
- Michael Shrieve / drums

- Al Dimeola / lead guitar (5,6,10,11,13)
- Pat Thrall / lead & rhythm guitars (3,4)
- Chris West / rhythm guitar (1,11,13)
- Junior Marvin / rhythm guitar (4-6,10,14)
- Bernie Holland / rhythm guitar (10)
- Klause Schulze / synths
- Hisako Yamashta / violin & backing vocals (9)
- Rosko Gee / bass
- Lennox Langton / congas (11)
- Brother James / congas (11,14)
- Thunderthighs / backing vocals
- Paul Buckmaster / orchestral arrangements (woodwind, brass & strings), co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Saul Bass

LP Island Records - ILPS 9387 (1976, UK) With a small booklet that contained pictures, lyrics etc.

CD Esoteric Recordings - ECLEC 2081 (2008, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to Easy Money for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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STOMU YAMASH'TA Stomu Yamash'ta, Steve Winwood & Michael Shrieve: Go ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

STOMU YAMASH'TA Stomu Yamash'ta, Steve Winwood & Michael Shrieve: Go reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars When this album came out in 1976 progressive rock was in a slump and fans of the genre were looking for something new. Expectations were high for this album which featured an all-star cast and a blending of two styles that were becoming more popular in the mid-70s; electronic space-rock and funk influenced jazz-fusion. It was interesting to hear this album again after all these years, but unfortunately my impression of this album has remained the same. This is a good album, but it seems to lack depth or true passion. A lot of the progressive rock that came out in the mid-70s was influenced by an attempt to cash in on the success of Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon. Although GO certainly shows some influence from Floyd's famous album, I don't think Stomu's motivations are that cynical, yet I still wonder if possible financial success was a bit of a motivator in his choice of musicians and musical styles on this album.

The first four tracks on side one blend together to present two very Pink Floyd sounding ballads that are surrounded by ambient electronic sections. The song Crossing the Line even has a gospel styled female vocalist in its buildup that sounds like a dead ringer for the vocalist in Floyd's Great Gig in the Sky. Both of these Floyd influenced opening songs on GO have great production and feature the overly- reverbed voice of Steve Winwood, but I find their chord progressions to be trite and overwrought. In all fairness though, I think there are probably a lot of people who might find these songs to be very beautiful and moving.

These two opening ballads are followed by Man of Leo, which is a hyper-funk fusion RnB song topped by Winwood's soulful voice, that fortunately has been freed from the reverb swamp of the earlier numbers. Leo shows off the rhythmic skills of drummer Michael Shrieve and bassist Rosko Gee, and features a great guitar solo by Al Dimeola. Side one closes with more space sounds.

Side two opens with Klaus Schulze and Stomu trying to recreate Tangerine Dream's classic sound, but the two keyboardists never really come together. Finally we come to a track that shows some true originality; Carnival. This instrumental opens with a pounding double-timed high speed tympani drone that is topped by "scary" orchestral fanfares and all manner of synthesizer and guitar noises. It sounds like the avant-garde section from an Italian movie soundtrack.

Carnival is immediately followed by Ghost Machine, which is a great high speed RnB/rock song that has Winwood singing like he means it this time. Al Dimeola adds some great fusion riffs and solos to this song. The next song, Time is Here is a nice progressive funk/RnB song that features more vocals by Winwood and interesting string arrangements by Paul Buckmaster. All throughout this album Buckmaster shines as a truly original and innovative arranger. The album closes with a mellow rock song, Winner/Loser which is one of the few songs on this album that has a really strong and original melody. Winwood really digs into the melody and makes the song his own.

This is a pretty good album, just not as good as I want it to be, especially when you consider the all- star cast that is present here.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 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.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars I really donīt know. Maybe I expected too much form the stellar line up... for a record that includes such greats as Steve Winwood, Michael Shrive, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schulz and many others, this record sounds too simple and contrieved. Actually it sounds a lot like a Steve Winwood solo efford much of the time (Crossing The Line is a good exemple). Which is by no means a bad thing. Still, I expected more. There is a middle section with lots of synthesizer and percussion effects that sounds quite pointless, and some funk music.. and thatīs it. Interesting, nice, but really not up to the talents of everyone involved. And too disjoined. My rating: 2 stars.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Do not pass Go

While rightly listed on this site along with the catalogue of Japanese percussionist and keyboard player extraordinaire Stomu Yamash'ta, "Go" is strictly speaking a band project. The equal billing, at least on the original album sleeve, of Steve Winwood (Traffic) and Michael Shrieve may have been primarily for marketing purposes, but there is little doubt about their influence here. All but one of the songs are actually composed by Yamash'ta (with lyrics by Michael Quartermain) , Winwood writing the closing number.

Even the naming of the trio by no means tells the whole story, as the extensive line up of supporting musicians includes Klause Schulze of Tangerine Dream and guitarist Al Dimeola.

The scene is set by the delightfully symphonic opening tracks "Solitude" and "Nature" the latter featuring the lush orchestration of renown arranger Paul Buckmaster. Winwood's first vocals of the album also appear here, his distinctive tones suiting the ambience of the piece well.

The tracks flow together as a continuous piece, a point emphasised on the LP version by the absence of separate track bandings. The album ebbs and flows through synthesiser waves, occasional vocal excursions by Winwood or choir, and other sundry instrumentation. "Crossing the line" features pretty much all of these, combining them with a strikingly beautiful melody.

At times, the music sounds improvised, with jazz patterns replacing the more structured rock sounds. Such incursions are kept in check though, the album as a whole being tight.

The second side of the LP is generally the looser, the jazz influences being much more dominant. Midway through, we even break into an up-tempo rock number, "Ghost machine", which features much rougher vocals by Winwood supported by distorted guitar.

The final track, "Winner/Loser", sounds rather out of place being a Steve Winwood composition which would have fitted in well on his debut solo album. It is a pleasantly orchestrated song, but is quite at odds with the rest of the album.

In all, an interesting album which offers an intriguing glimpse of this meeting of minds. The eclectic nature of the music gives the album a slightly unbalanced feel overall, but there is no doubting the class and professionalism of the contributing artists here.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars All-stars project leading by Stomu Yamash'ta recorded a strange album. Or better to say -very eclectic album. Possibly, for the year of release it sounded as experimental work ( or at least there was a concept to record experimental album). Whenever I had listened it much more later, possibly I missed some atmosphere.

For me, this is a musical mix when few very different musical styles are mixed in one collection. Happily, all musicians are of highest class, so bigger part of separate pieces sounds attractive. But even trying hard it is difficult to imagine this compilation of very different songs as one album.

Big part of the music there is space-ambient rhythmless electronic figures, produced by Klaus Schulze and Stomu Yamash'ta synthesizers. Another part of music is down tempo simple ballads in vein of late 60-s, just with some electronic sounds additions. Steve Winwood vocal is quite nice on some songs, some Al Di Meola guitar work as well. But these compositions are coming just from another story. Excellent female background voices, r'n'b rhythms and jazz-funk. It's the ingredients, but the problem for me is they all aren't melted in one , but you can find some combinations in different places. Because of that all album sounds as soundtrack, it looks that so different compositions are placed in one place because of some outside reason, not because of musical project logic.

Looking separately on each song, the bigger part of them are really strong ones. Placed in right place and more acceptable combination, album's material could become possibly more attractive. But when listened as it is, still sounds more as never released film's soundtrack.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Every time I listen to Side 1 of this collaborative work, I wonder why it is not regarded as a lost progressive classic, but the answer might lie somewhere on the shapeless and insipid grooves of Side 2. While Yamash'ta is known more as a jazz/fusion artist, most of this is space rock, at times mellow and wonderful, at times slightly funky and equally wonderful, but too often lacking in development or character.

I would not be surprised if 90% of the effort was dispensed on Side 1, because the compositions, arrangements, melodies, directed jams, and vocals are all top notch, not to mention the sequencing of the material. There are several climaxes and several retrenchments. The blending of instrumental interludes and vocal tracks is executed to perfection, such that this sounds like a side long suite. As "Solitude" gives way to "Nature", Paul Buckmaster's orchestral arrangements are a revelation. Then it's Winwood's first appearance, accompanied my piano, rhythm section and more of Buckmaster. This might be what FOCUS would sound like in their quieter moments if they added strings.

"Air Over" and "Crossing the Line" make another lovely couple, the space sounds of the first slowly giving way to a timeless and mysterious tune. Yamash'ta's ethnic influences seem close to the surface here. The performance of Winwood in "Crossing the Line" is up there with his best, and light years beyond what he would attain stardom for a few years later. The orchestra remains in force to maintain continuity. I'm not sure who delivers the lead guitar solo, but if it is Al Dimeola he shows a remarkable adaptability to the mood of the disk, as it sounds nothing like his typical style.

This would almost be enough, but "Man of Leo" and "Stellar" form a third pairing to die for. The edge is harder and we are in more funky territory. Still it works as a contrast with the ethereal start to the album, and the full band collaboration in the instrumental "Stellar" is as good as it gets in that rare prog-R&B sub genre.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, side 2 is a major letdown, with a much less structured and authentic blend of space drivel and a few mostly conventional rock songs, the best of these being the TRAFFIC-like "Ghost Machine".

My advice is Go directly to Side 1 and enjoy one of the tighter and more accomplished cooperative and ego-free productions of its time. I'd love to give 4 stars, but for half an album, I cannot go there.

Review by Matti
4 stars This was the first Stomu Yamash'ta album I listened to. As the music started I was immediately enchated by it. Gorgeous, slow and symphonic playing, and the excellent vocals of Steve Winwood that soon entered, was the cherry on the top.

The album cover - not surprisingly - names the stellar cast accompanying Stomu who plays percussion and keyboards: Winwood (keyboards, vocals), Al DiMeola (guitars), Michael Shrieve (drums) and Klaus Schulze (synths). The complete list of players is a whole lot longer. Oh, I see that this particular cover seen here doesn't mention DiMeola and Schulze. Anyway, these names make one expect a lot from this music - and seemingly there is the risk of a disappointment. Neither I was intact for slight disappointment when listening to the latter half of the album, where there are more portions of soul/funk. Winwood of course is very much at home with these genres too, and the whole band moves skillfully from one style to another, but I personally would have enjoyed the album more without the most straightforward beat sections (and sadly the Go Sessions edition plays Parts One and Two as single tracks of 20- 21 minutes long, which means I can't edit worst parts out on my own CD).

But for the most part, this is a wonderful concept album with soaring, spacey melodies and beautiful sound. Friends of the more symphonic wing of the Fusion genre will surely enjoy this, and especially if you consider Steve Winwood (of TRAFFIC fame) as a great vocalist. The listening experience flows nicely from synth-centred symphonic and spacey instrumental sections to the ones with vocals, ranging from ballads to funkier style. Almost 5-star stuff.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 68

I must confess that about the Stomu Yamash'ta's musical career I'm only previously familiarised with The Go Project. But, I definitely want to explore deeper into his catalogue, now. Anyway, "Go", belongs to a very innovative musical project, at the time, with the same name and which was released in 1976. "Go" is the first album of Stomu Yamash'ta's fusion super group which became known as The Go Project. This project was composed of three albums, two studio albums and one live album, "Go", "Go Too" and "Go Live From Paris". We may say, in a certain way, that the first album of the project, "Go", is a concept album, fusing diverse musical styles, that range from rock, jazz, classical and electronic music, all connected by a central motif of space travel. The theme of the album deals with the change between fantasy and reality, death and rebirth, things changing to their opposites.

The line up on this super group's first album, is very extensive, and was formed by Stomu Yamash'ta (synthesizer, percussion and timpani), Steve Winwood (vocals, piano, electric piano, organ, guitar and synthesizer), Michael Shrieve (drums), Klaus Schulze (synthesizers), Al Di Meola (lead guitar), Pat Thrall (lead and rhythm guitar), Rosko Gee (bass), Chris West (rhythm guitar), Junior Marvin (rhythm guitar), Hisako Yamash'ta (backing vocals and violin), Bernie Holland (rhythm guitar), Lennox Langton (congas), Brother James (congas) and Thunderthings (backing vocals). All the songs were written by Stomu Yamash'ta with lyrics by Michael Quartermain, with the exception of "Winner/Looser" that was written by Winwood. Paul Buckmaster made all the orchestral arrangements.

Stomu Yamash'ta up to this point has gained great respect for his compositional skills in various styles of music ranging from soundtracks to jazz to classical to rock. In 1976 he formed this group with a line up that reads like a who's who of jazz and progressive rock musicians, Traffic's Steve Winwood, Tangerine Dream's Klaus Schulze, Michael Shrieve from Santana, Return to Forever's Al Di Meola. This is almost like a jazz progressive dream team. However, here on "Go", Stomu abandons his avant-garde and experimental tendencies for a smoother, more accessible sound, which melds space rock, jazz fusion, funk, pop, soul ballads and progressive rock into a hugely appealing concept work. The mood is a little less jazz and more space rock than expected, considering the players involved. Orchestration from Paul Buckmaster contributes to this aspect of the piece greatly. Originally two sides of vinyl listing songs separately but merged together, the album is a full-blown concept piece that is superbly performed.

So, "Go" has fourteen tracks and almost the tracks flow together as a continuous piece of music, with the exception of the fourteenth track "Winner/Loser", the only song written by Winwood. For that reason it sounds to me more a Winwood's song. As somehow it sounds as a concept album, I'm not going to review the album, track by track, as I usually do. However, there are some aspects of the album that must to be enhanced. In the first place, "Go" is a nice, calm and a beautiful piece of music, very experimental, with a spatial musical atmosphere, which makes of it quite unique. In the second place, on "Go", we can find diverse musical influences that range from rock, jazz, electronic and funk, good performances from all the musicians which are very well accompanied by beautiful voice choirs and backing vocals, competent orchestrations and the recorded, the release and the production of it are very professional. In the third place, to do justice to the presence of Winwood on the album, it's very well served by his voice on the tracks where he sings, giving a very special feeling to the musical ambience of the album.

Finally, there is a curious fact about "Go". In reality, the story of "Go" starts at the beginning of the side two and ends at the end of the side one. It means that if you want to hear the album with the correct sequence of the story, you must begin by side two. However, I always start to listen to it by the side one. Anyway, it's up to you. The decision is yours.

Conclusion: "Go" is quite a unique album that could appeal to prog, pop, soul, jazz and fusion fans alike. Jazz fans of course will want to listen to Di Meola and Shrieve. Fans of space music like Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream will want to listen to it certainly. Rock fans that enjoy Winwood's will like this as well. This is a case where the whole is somehow much more than the sum of its parts. Finally, I can say that definitely and deeply it also appeals to me. We are in presence of an excellent, very interesting and original musical project of the 70's, which is, in my humble opinion, very underrated on this site, not only the album but also all the project. Unfortunately, the prog reviewers have given very little attention to it. I know "Go" since it was released, and it always impressed me very deeply. I sincerely think that this album is an excellent addition and deserves to be part of any true progressive musical collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I've been aware of Go since 1994, but for all those years I was resistent at buying a copy. I would have expect it an incoherent mess. But I find a cheap used LP for $3, and took a chance on it, and let me tell you, the album is actually great. I was warned it was a bit cheesy way back in 1994, but to be honest, I don't notice that, as close to cheesy is probably the closer "Winner/Loser" (probably because it more resembles something off Winwood's solo album than on Go). Anyways, this was Stomu Yamash'ta's project, with Steve Winwood and Michael Shrieve credited, but a ton of others including Al Di Meola of Return to Forever fame, Rosko Gee of Traffic (later of Can), Klaus Schulze, and many others. "Solitude", "Nature" and "Air Over" really have a nice spacy, symphonic feel to it, complete with strings and oboe. Steve Winwood sounds, well, like himself. It sounds as I expect him to sound in between Traffic and his solo career, but more spacy, which is something I never expect. But then Klaus Schulze's presence helped with the spacy nature of the album, and it's clear his contributions on stuff like ""Stellar", "Space" and "Space Requiem" only proves that. Here it sounds much closer to his solo material, you probably wonder how some of this would have sounded like if they were stretched around 25 minutes, as was a common habit of Schulze on his own albums. "Man of Leo" is more in the funk fusion vein, with Al Di Meola providing guitar. What was up with that David Gilmour-like scream that starts the song? The album also have a more avant garde moments too, with creative use of percussion. "Winner/Loser" is the closing piece, and closes to solo Steve Winwood (at least his 1977 solo debut). It has a bit more commercial feel.

Winwood left after this album. I'm pretty sure he felt confident to return to music and start a solo career. After all, Traffic's When the Eagle Flies wasn't exactly a commercial success (nor was it one of their better albums) so I'm sure he didn't feel too encouraged to continue with music. I know Go wasn't exactly a big seller, but to me I think the album is great and a bit underrated. To be honest, I was never a fan of Winwood's solo career, Throughout the 1980s I was inundated with his music played on the radio constantly throughout the 1980s. To my ears, I felt he was trying to compete with Phil Collins for 1980s radio air supremacy. Because of that I never cared to own any of his solo albums. As for Traffic, that stuff was much better. Outside Traffic, I felt the debut of Go is the most interesting thing he's done.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Released in 1976, Stomu Yamash'ta, Steve Winwood & Michael Shrieve: Go is great but (in my humble opinion) doesn't maintain its level throughout the entire album; it has high and low points but overall it is a fine piece of work. This is my second experience with Stomu Yamash'ta (after his East ... (read more)

Report this review (#2233264) | Posted by Itai Diamant | Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first thought is: what a fricking lineup. Yamashta is powerful enough to pull in disparate luminaries like Klaus Schulze, Michael Shrieve, Al Di Meola, AND Steve Winwood. It sounds like a band from someone's dreams. Sometimes collaborations fail to coalesce and reflect negatively on all i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1953059) | Posted by WFV | Saturday, July 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I revisited this album again after many years and was surprised at the lack of enthusiasm by reviewers here. This is one of my favourite prog albums and ideal for when one is in a relaxed state of mind, right up there with Dark Side of the Moon (or the Easy All Stars' Dub Side of the Moon, for t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1568298) | Posted by Greta007 | Saturday, May 21, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Hmmmmm.... I put my hands on this album a few months ago and I must say I was very curios to listen to it, because I knew there's a lot of musicians on it. First of all, I thought it was a conceptual album, on of the highest class. This thing is due to the multitude of excellent musician ... (read more)

Report this review (#185484) | Posted by Sachis | Monday, October 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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