STOMU YAMASHITA — Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind : Freedom Is Frightening (review)

STOMU YAMASHITA — Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind : Freedom Is Frightening album cover Album · 1973 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Certainly Yamash'ta's most acclaimed album by connoisseurs anyway, even if the Go experiments are much better known because of the high profile musicians. Apparently East wind was supposed to the group of musicians accompanying Stomu (I don't have the full infos), but Freedom Is Frightening is the only album (to my knowledge anyway) bearing that name. As with all too many of Stomu's works, this album cries out for a Cd reissue. Even the original vinyl with its excellent day/night draw, artwork gracing both sides of the cover, leaves few infos as to what and why in the album. Just four announced tracks on this album (but there is a separate short vocal piece at the end of Rolling nuns), and they are stunners too. Opening on the slow developing title track, the musicians start very atmospherically, to slowly shift to early Barrett-less Floyd, gradually introducing a harder edge music through organs and electric guitar, By half the track, they are rocking solid with an infectious spacey groove, which continues to grow until its death. Rolling Nuns is a much quicker tempoed affair based on a funky bass (SM's Hugh Hopper is brilliant throughout the album) that moves from organ to splendid quick guitars (Gary Boyle , ex-Auger and future Isotope is also excellent), and the track ends in the afore- mentioned unnamed celestial vocal movement, lasting roughly two minutes.

The flipside takes on a much jazzier tone with Pine On The Horizon, but there is an annoying fiddle throughout most of the first part, but once it stops, the track veers red-hot funk-jazz with some good brass parts, then the track slowly dying on organs growls, spitting their guts out. The closing aerial Wind Words (so calm that it sounds new-age avant-la-lettre) starting with a melancholic violin, then irritatingly strident electric piano. Definitely the weaker track on this album.

One of the few Yamashta album's begging for a Cd reissue although still flawed, this album is warmly recommended as an introduction to his 70's career, which is the only one really worth investigating for progheads, his 60's and post 70's works being avant gazrde free-form "classical" music
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