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Stomu Yamash'ta

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Stomu Yamash'ta Go album cover
3.17 | 25 ratings | 8 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side one

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)

Side two

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)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- 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

Releases information

Island ILPS-9387
The original LP came witha small booklet that contained pictures, lyrics etc.

Thanks to Easy Money for the addition
and to DamoXt7942 for the last updates
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Import
Spalax 1996
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STOMU YAMASH'TA Go ratings distribution


3.17
(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

STOMU YAMASH'TA Go reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by js (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.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#164278) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
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.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#164831) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I really don´t 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 that´s it. Interesting, nice, but really not up to the talents of everyone involved. And too disjoined. My rating: 2 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#165120) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008

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.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#170782) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 12, 2008

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.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#261968) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 22, 2010

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
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 it's time. I'd love to give 4 stars, but for half an album, I cannot go there.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#275705) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
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.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#564223) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Latest members reviews

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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