Friday, March 15, 2024

Go Too Extremes: Stomu 77


Stomu Yamashta's Go - Mysteries of Love

Time Marches forward with another birthday of another superstar of the musical firmament, turning 77 today.

When I was a kid my dad, rest his soul, really exposed me to a wealth of cultural material that likely would be greeted by a visit from Child Protective Services, were he to have tried it these days.

I reckon I was taken to in the vicinity of 300 Broadway shows, plays, recitals and operas before the age of 10.

Some of these performances would today be considered utterly inappropriate for a child, like The Crucible or Equus, with its frank depictions of full nudity.

Of course this idea of exposing young Joshy to all manner of somewhat extreme, or at the very least adult, content extended to the world of film, and I was allowed to watch pretty much anything from a very young age.

One of these movies -- actually one of my dad's favorite films of all time -- was Ken Russell's blasphemous The Devils, starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave as a rogue, lascivious and possibly demonic priest and his female accuser.

I must have seen this film 10 times by the time I was 10, and for me the most striking feature of it was the wild, possessed sounding and highly percussive music that accompanies some of its most pivotal moments.

It wasn't until I grew up -- well, that's debatable, but at least I got older -- that I came to understand who was behind that soundtrack, and what his other, sometimes even more dramatic, music was about.

That composer -- possibly the central Japanese musician of the last half century -- is 77 years old today, and his name is Stomu Yamashta.

As the years flew by and I got into Fusion, I came to adore his 1970s catalog, which bridges the gap between traditional music of Japan and the funkified, percolating grooves and topnotch chops of Jazz-Rock.

I love all of those records like Freedom Is Frightening and Man from the East, but of all of them I think I prefer the second LP from his supergroup Go, simply titled Go Too.

The first iteration of Go -- the one that had Steve Winwood and Klaus Schulze onboard -- had its own live record, which a lot of folks prefer to their studio platter that preceded it.

The second one didn't get its own live album, but luckily for us their San Francisco residency -- which was two nights at the Great American Music Hall on O'Farrell Street next to the infamous Mitchell Bros. porn theater -- had one show go out over the mighty KSAN-FM.

And even luckier, someone in that once-great city had a cassette deck or two rolling to capture those airwaves and their contents.

And even luckier still, I spent a few days spiffing those cassettes up in Sound Forge and Audacity, that we might time machine ourselves back to September of 1977 and get ourselves all good to Go.

Stomu Yamashta's Go
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, California USA

01 Prelude
02 Seen You Before
03 Madness/Ecliptic interlude
04 Mysteries of Love
05 Crossing the Line
06 Wheels of Fortune
07 Beauty
08 You and Me
09 Superstar interlude
10 Man of Leo
11 Wheels of Fortune (reprise)

Total time: 1:19:02

Stomu Yamashta - drums & percussion
Kevin Shrieve - guitar
Ava Cherry - vocals & percussion
Jess Roden - vocals & percussion
Patrick Gleeson - synthesizers
Michael Shrieve - drums
Paul Jackson - bass
Doni Harvey - guitar
Brother James - percussion & vocals

sounds like a master or 1st gen off-air cassette capture from KSAN-FM
pitch corrected by Pervesser Goody
slightly edited & remastered by EN, March 2024
548 MB FLAC/direct link

Make sure you watch out for the late lord of the low end Paul Jackson -- also born in March of 1947 (on the 28th!) -- who's in danger of destroying downtown SF using only a Fender Jazz bass on this here concert.

I've got a bunch more thangs cooking up on the burners in here for the remainder of the month, but I've always wanted to cover one of the great rhythm devils, Stomu Yamashta -- who is still alive and playing as far as I know -- since I started this page a decade ago, so here we is! Enjoy this one or it's a month of Ken Russell outtakes for all of you!--J.

1 comment: