Apr 30, 2011

Yamashita Yosuke Trio - April Fool/ Coming Muhammad Ali

barabara sounds sez:
This was a post I had planned for the beginning of this month (until seismic events intervened). Now I just want to get it up before we run into May...

More Yamashita, this time with his original
trio, with Nakamura Seichi and Moriyama Takeo doing the honors on sax and drums respectively. This was the last album with this line-up (before Sakata Akira took over from Nakamura).
Originally released in 1972 (U.R.C Records),
it was inspired by the Muhumman Ali-Mac Foster heavyweight title fight that took place in Tokyo earlier that year — on April 1st, hence the title.

Quick diversion: the poster for the fight was something else...

Back to the album: What you get is interviews and Ali soundbites
plenty of
Yamashita's high-intensity free playing
It's tempting to say the album is a knock-out but like t
he actual fight (which Ali took the full 15 rounds and won by a decision), it isn't a classic. Once you've heard the spoken word sections a couple of times, you'll probably want to edit them out and focus on the
music tracks.

If this grabs you, then check out this brief sliver of footage of the Yamashita trio from Wakamatsu Koji's equally out there "
Ecstacy of the Angels" from the same year.

There's more info on Yamashita here. And don't neglect el Goog Ja's discography over here...

Apr 28, 2011

The 49th day remembrance

The 49 days are over. Around Japan today, the bells tolled and the chanting and incense rose to the heavens. The souls of the more than 25,000 who were lost have now passed on. And it is time now for the rest of us to move on too, to get on with the work of rebuilding, the duty of living.

It has been a very difficult time, even for those of us not in the areas of devastation. It has been hard to think and act as normal when the earth is shuddering, and there is fear (and radiation) in the air. Healing is needed, and so is music — it is of course the healing force of the universe. Time to start sharing again.

First though, a big thank you to everyone around the world for your prayers and warm messages of support and compassion. And the contributions too, for all the people whose lives will never be the same. It really is deeply appreciated.

images (C) AP

And now go and take a look (if you haven't already) at the recent post by el goog: a small but moving illustration of what is no longer there — and what remains.