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YONIN BAYASHI

Eclectic Prog • Japan


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Yonin Bayashi biography
A Japanese brilliant progressive gem, the young four-piece outfit YONIN BAYASHI was formed in 1971.

Two musically talented high school students, Daiji Okai (drums, various instruments) and Katsutoshi Morizono (guitars, voices) had a fateful rendezvous at Saginomiya High School in 1969. With Shin'ichi Nakamura (bass) and Hidemi Sakasita (keyboards) joining, they played a complete but fully improvised version of Echoes by Pink Floyd, shocking and amazing the audience.

YONIN BAYASHI made their debut in 1974, releasing a legendary work Isshoku-Sokuhatsu through Toho Records.

In their early days, they were, as everyone says, under the influence of Pink Floyd and psychedelic rock, in addition to the spiritual lyrics by Yasuo Suematsu.

The bassist was replaced by Masahide Sakuma and they released the second album Golden Picnics, but soon Katsutoshi dropped out. YONIN BAYASHI exited the crisis with the arrival of Mitsuru Satoh(guitars, vocals). They changed music styles, approaching pop and electronic, and shot three more good albums - Printed Jelly (1977), Bao (1978), and NEO-N (1979).

After a long hibernation, once Dance (1989) was released, YONIN BAYASHI is active again in the 21st century, playing gigs, joining festivals, and making their historical compilation.

::: Keishiro Maki (DamoXt7942) - Japanese Prog Specialist & Psych/Space Collaborator :::

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YONIN BAYASHI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 68 ratings
Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
1974
3.58 | 34 ratings
Golden Picnics
1976
3.04 | 8 ratings
Printed Jelly
1977
2.63 | 8 ratings
Bao
1978
2.86 | 7 ratings
NEO-N
1979

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YONIN BAYASHI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A really solid album from Japan circa 1974. That album cover is iconic no? I laughed when I saw the back cover because the first impressions of the front is that we have this pipe smoking Lemur hanging off a tree limb. Flip it over and the tree branch is actually an elephant's trunk and he's standing on an enormous turtle shell. What!? Oh yeah this is psychedelia and this band were huge PINK FLOYD fans. A four piece with the usual instruments. The keyboardist adds piano, Fender Rhodes, organ, mini-moog and mellotron. Andy at Planet Mellotron gives this 3.5 stars and Julian Cope rated this 49th out of his top 50 Japanese albums. Both a little low in my opinion but this does have some commercial moments and other things I consider issues for my tastes but it's that very strong second half that pushes this over the hump in my opinion.

The album's title means "Dangerous Situation" and that title track is my favourite. Clocking in at 12 1/2 minutes the longest tune on here. This one has lots of energy early before calming down to a PINK FLOYD vibe after 2 minutes, vocals too. It all turns fuller including the vocals before 3 minutes as contrasts continue. How about that heavy section after 8 minutes and the singing is at it's best a minute later. They do sing in Japanese by the way. Ripping guitar after 10 minutes but I'm not big on the synths to end it. The closer "The Sadness Of A Ping-Pong Ball" opens with the sounds of said ball before we get this beautiful melancholic sound with light beats, picked guitar, bass and the odd piano note. Some mellotron here and on that second track but there's not a lot of it in play here. "Sky And Cloud" is that second song and my least favourite but even this has it's moments. I like the calm sections best. "Festival" has guest congas on it and how about the Canterbury sounding keyboards starting before 4 minutes. Surprising. This song isn't all over the place but it's getting close. Samples too.

A solid 4 stars for this one, and while it may have it's issues overall it's an album that all the adventerous music lovers of Japan should be proud of.

 Golden Picnics by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 34 ratings

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Golden Picnics
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

4 stars A neat follow up to the debut. What's really interesting is the change in sounds from a Pink Floyd clone into this Fusion esque music.

One can expect a decent amount of Japanese singing like the softer kind featured on the debut, chill guitar workouts reminding me of Gabor Szabo and just a general chill vibe. Also I'd like to single out the sixteen minute long Nessy for some special acknowledgment, particularly for its quirky bits utilizing non musical sounds and circus music that oddly enough work really well. Also as I mentioned before this strikes me as being Jazz Fusion but I must say one should absolutely not expect Romantic Warrior or Miles Davis but something along the lines of Al Di Meola or the aforementioned Gabor Szabo,

Overall I think the first couple of tracks are somewhat mediocre but the last three to four tracks really amp this album up, thus four out of five for what is still a great album,

 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

4 stars Right when I heard the opening I knew it would be amazing. I first heard this album browsing Japanese Jazz Funk/Fusion artists YouTube topic pages. One of them had the suggestion of Yonin Bayashi (Koenji Hyakkei and Moon Safari are the only other artists I remember seeing, though there was more) and I checked it out. Immediately smitten, listened to it all day. Two things really stick out to me in all of Yonin Bayashis discography, great guitar tone especially on chords and the singers wonderful voice. The music is emotional, catchy yet doesn't forget to include lots of instrumental bits.

Track one is just fourth seconds of avant- sounds, an effective opener.

Track two establishes a stripped down form of the other two meat songs of the album, which is keys on support, driving bass, guitar chords and Japanese vocals delivered delightfully.

Track three follows the form of two for the beginning then veers into hard rock momentarily, then returning to the preceding sound, heading into a lovely guitar solo and ending on a fade out bass/drum groove. Good stuff, catchy, memorable.

Track four is more dramatic, a bit less chipper and instead of heading away from the hard rock, when the song goes there it goes harder. There are some great instrumentals on this one and the vocals are absolutely no slouch. Excellent.

Track five closes the album, like two it provides an aspect of three/four, the instrumentals being the focus on this one (instrumental track). An exquisite closer for an exquisite album.

Overall this is an excellent album that would probably be under Heavy Prog if it was their only album and definitely recommend. Also the album is nice and short, which is how an album should be in my opinion, not ten hours long.

 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This Japanese classic has six insightful reviews here already, but it's always nice to lift into the frontpage spotlight these less known rarities and share one's own reception of the music. This one came to my knowledge in 2014, when a member of our local prog-loving circle of friends received the cd from his girlfriend as a souvenir from Japan. She had -- on his request -- asked for a Japanese prog classic in a music store. None of us knew the band in advance, but we all thought it was an excellent choice when we listened to it together.

So, Yonin Bayashi were a foursome formed at the beginning of the 70's and this is their debut album. Their most important influence was Pink Floyd whose epic 'Echoes' they had performed in their own way. Naturally that influence can be heard here, but not too directly at all. The opener 'Hamabeth' is an experimental 43-second instrumental focusing on electronic sounds. 'Sora To Kumo' (= The Sky and Clouds, according to Keishiro) is a groovy song in which I sense a jazzy vibe akin to early Steely Dan, or one-off Tonton Macoute or Cressida's eponymous debut. The male vocals are rather ordinary, in a good way, not pushing into the centre of attention.

The next track (the title meaning A Festival) is 11 minutes long and progresses from one mood/style to another, including also a hard-rocking el.guitar centred section. All in all the album's music is an interesting, albeit very Anglo- American sounding mixture of psychedelic early prog, classic rock in the vein of Wishbone Ash or The Doors, heavier moments and the forementioned jazzier touch. On the 12-minute title track I hear some Nektar (especially on melodies and vocals), as well as certain sonic echoes of Floyd's 'Echoes', especially on the rhythm section. It is powerful and at times approaches slightly cacophonic frenzy, but it doesn't lose the plot entirely. Impressive indeed.

The instrumental final track is again round five minutes and relatively mellower. "Deep Sorrow of a Ping Pong Ball"... all right. Here the focus is on the airy, jazzy keyboard work of Hidemi Sakasita. The two bonuses on the cd release are pretty good too. What I have by now listened to of Japanese prog, mainly symphonic prog from the 80's, this album has a character quite different from the majority, and is an undisputed vintage classic. Four strong stars!

 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Japanese prog have been very dear to me ever since I bought an album a band called PYG. They released one studio album and one live, alongside some singles. I was at purchasing the album first and foremost intrigued by the cover, a sort of naively drawn pig. It all looked tempting and it felt right at the time. And it was right, for the most part. A dreamy sort of soft, western sounding prog which really attracted me. The japanese lyrics was simply gorgeous. (I do not speak japanese, so I am only referiing to the melody and Beauty of the language.) Apart from bringing me pleasure it also brought me a certain amount of misunderstanding concerning the very eclectic nature of japanese prog. PYG was, as it were, not represantatives of japanese prog in general, simply their own. This all seems very naive today and I sort look down when I tell the story but it proves a point, I think, that, no matter the origin of prog it always puts forth a slab of their own native spice. The harshness of Flower Travelling Band, the interstellar cosmic sounds of Far East Family Band, the bluesy prog of Strawberry Path or the synthesized sound of Isao Tomita. It is all very grand, exciting and enjoyable.

However... One of my personal favorites among japanese or any prog is "Isshoku-Sokuhatsu" by Yonin Bayashi, a by then young band with a vision of their own. I suppose they lent an ear or two to bands like Deep Purple but that never stopped them from creating an album very much a product of themselves and their musical ability. (Why Deep Purple? Well, the main reason for such a name-dropping is due to the extensive use of the organ in as many a way as Lord ever did.) At the heart of it the Music is really melodious and spacious, leaving lots of room for improvisation. The interplay between the musicians is really something to marvel at. The music, especially in the two longest tracks, is built around different sections and are very much a platform for instrumental excursions.

While "Hamabeth" is the intro and really nothing more, "Sora To Kumo" is a softer offering welcoming the listener. A good track and I enjoy it very much.

"Omatsuri" is a gentle piece at first glance but is really a forum for all kinds of influences. Jazz, hard rock and even some latin, nonetheless. It builds and flows to and fro in a really splendid manner. The sweet and gentle guitar playing is like a warm coat in the winter. It is an impressive track.

The best track is "Isshoku-Sokuhatsu", the title track. It starts off in a similar way as "Omatsuri" but transforms during it's course into avant-garde before setting sail towards Hard Rock Ocean before harbouring in Prog Rock Bay. The instrumentation on this track is marvellous, It is tightly performed and highly skilled.

The last track, opening with a ping pong ball, is an instrumental piece which really sums up the album in the best possible way. Really symphonic, the mellotron adds to it all and it is very enjoyable.

In conclusion I'd say that Isshoku-Sokuhatsu is a very intriguing album. It is jazz-rock, prog and symphonic tossed around in a bowler hat and spilled out on the table, forming glorious patterns of musical wonder. I think that this album should be listened to by more people. Having a hard time with the japanese lyrics? Oh, never mind those. Look at it as just Another instrument and you'll have a blast.

 Golden Picnics by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 34 ratings

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Golden Picnics
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 2 years passed since their excellent debute and Yonin Bayashi comes with their second release from 1976 named Golden picnics. Well this quite diffrent then the predecesor, more influenced by Pink Floyd and even experimental passages that remind me of the great Frank Zappa who was at the top of his game in that period who influenced many bands and artists across the years from diffrent regions of the world, that heavy prog sections are almost gone, only here and there can be heared, but the result is not band , only less intristing for me , at least. Anyway they still have complex rhythm sections, this is another worthy prog rock album from Japan, but I think that their most popular and the most loved album Yonin Bayashi ever released is their first one and I'm agree completly with that status. Not a particula piece is better then other , maybe Nasu No Chawan Yaki has more intristing parts, the rest are only ok for my taste. The CD version issued by Sony almost 10 years ago is again very well packed with obi. In the end a good album, little to experimantal for me, I prefere 100% their first one, nevertheless another good example of how great was prog rock from Japan in those times. 3 stars for this one, good cover art aswell.
 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A little gem that goes rather to unnoticed in prog circles

Yonin Bayashi and their first classic progressive rock album from 1974 named Isshoku-Sokuhatsu, as far as I know it means Touch and go. Well I was very pleasent surprised what I've heared here, I know the album for a long time , but only last year in spring I got it on CD, japanese Mini LP Papersleeve Replica CD Hagakure with a great cover art , both front and back , not to mention that the sound is crystal clear. So, this album is considered one of the most important ones in japanese old school of prog rock , because has virtuosic performance and above all some great ideas on it, even are only 5 pieces. The album goes from smooth and elegant prog rock arrangements like on Sora To Kumo that means Sky and clods with great warm voice of Katsutoshi Morizono, even I don't get it a word, he has a very good voice for such music, is catchy and the vocal tone is great, very nice is the keyboards parts. On the third piece Omatsuri aka Festival - Yonin Bayashi goes heavy prog, with long instrumental passages, reminds me in places of let say Rush or Uriah Heep, complex and very fine developed tune with some psychedelic overtones here and there. The title track follows, the longest piece of the album, extravagant mellotron use here, lots of tempo changes, what a really solid piece that made this band so great. The last piece with a strange name Ping Pong Dama No Nagek that means A deep sorrow of a ping-pong ball is an instrumntal piece where the symphonic parts are very well melted with more spacey ones, very smooth harmonies are to be found here, aswell the sound of a droping ping pong ball can be heared in the background. In the end a very good album that stood the test of time very well in comparation with other albums from that period not only from Japan but in general. For sure one of my fav albums from japanese old school prog rock that desearve from me no less then 4 stars. Fans of the genre must take this band much more in consideration because worth every second, little unnoticed in comparation with other albums from that period. recommended

 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I am not too familiar with Japanese prog scene. Mostly it's Far East Family Band. Luckily I discovered Yonin Bayashi. I bought Isshoku Sokuhatsu at a record convention in Eugene, Oregon without knowing much about it, other than the person selling those records were big on prog, so he figured I might like this, and he told me Mellotron was used (Hidemi Sakasita was credited to using one). Wow! This album blew me away! After the first cut, which was just a bunch of electronic sound effects, comes "Sora To Kumo". Those melodies are big, with some great use of electric piano. Far East Family Band shows all too well the Japanese language isn't too well suited in prog (don't get me wrong, I enjoy FEFB), Yonin Bayashi proved otherwise, some of the best Japanese vocals I ever heard in rock. This piece also features some Mellotron (so at least the seller was right on the tron, it's not a lot, but at least you notice it). "Omatsuri" is another killer piece, with great compositions. I really love the jam at the end where they go in Santana overdrive (complete with Santana-like Latin percussion!). The music throughout the album is often heavy, at time veering towards hard rock. This is fantastic stuff, great vocals, great playing, a great album overall. It's not space rock like Far East Family Band, it's rock, at time veering towards heavy prog. This comes highly recommended by me!

By the way, I noticed the inner sleeve on the LP has some amusing "Engrish", for example: "The Crea:" (I believe they mean "The Crew:"), "All lyrics / Yasuo Suematsu (Except harf parts of "ISHOKU-SOKUHATSU" / Katsutoshi Morizono)" and "Recorded / February-Aplil 1974 at T.S.C.", basically the classic "R" and "L" mistake the Japanese have with the English language is clearly seen on this inner sleeve.

 Golden Picnics by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 34 ratings

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Golden Picnics
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by maryes

2 stars Although this second album of the Japanese band YONI BAYASHI "Golden Picnics", have pleased me more than previous "Ysshoko-Sokuhatso", it is not enough so that I can say that is a work that deserves figures in my progressive music collection. However the disk presents at least, quite interesting: moments : the Track 2 "Carnival" and the Track 3 "Nasu In Chawan Yaki (Continental Laid-Back-Breakers) ", that to mine to see really fit in the ecletic-prog style. I think the remaining of the disk is bery strongly influenced by their compatriots of Far East Family Band and consequently for Pink Floyd's sound, which restricted the creativity of the band in a certain way. Therefore, same recognizing the musician's quality, my rate is only 2 stars.!!!
 Isshoku-Sokuhatsu by YONIN BAYASHI album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 68 ratings

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Isshoku-Sokuhatsu
Yonin Bayashi Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Under the shadows of Far Out,Flied Egg and Far East Family Band,Yonin Bayashi were another good Japanese psych/prog band,found in 1970 in Tokyo by Kasutoshi Morizono(guitar and vocal), KazuoNakamura(bass and vocal) and Daiji Okai(drums),initially named as ''The San-Nin'',which means three persons.In 1971 Hidemi Saka[&*!#]a joins as a fourth member on keys and the band was renamed to Yonon Bayashi (quartet in old Japanese).After recording the 1973 soundtrack ''Hatachi no Genten'',they enter the discography with ''Ishoku Sokuhatsu'' a year later.

After a short intro,'' Sora To Kumo'' is a soft Psych Rock track with a great end-section,including jazzy soloing and ethereal electric piano.''Omatsuri'' clocks at 11 minutes and reminds me a lot of circa ''Caress of steel'' RUSH,while this track blends Jazz,Psychedelic and Hard Rock in one nice package.''Isshoku-Sokuhatsu'' is the definite opus of the album,either you talk about its length or quality.Long Heavy Rock number with complex passages,changing tempos,very strong organ work,excellent vocals and some extreme energy.The closing ''Ping Pong Dama No Nageki'' is an instrumental mix of Symphonic,Space and Jazz rock heavily based on Saka[&*!#]a's keys,with fantastic mellotron,bells,electric piano and some organ throughout,presenting another unknown side of the band.

This overlooked Japanese progsters deserve some attention from both Progressive and Classic Rock fans.''Ishoku Sokuhatsu'' is a fine example of Progressive Rock music,including influences from Jazz,Psychedelic and Heavy Rock as well as some symphonic touches.Recommended.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition. and to Ricochet for the last updates

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