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Freedom is Frightening

Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind

℗ 1973 Island Records ILPS 9242

℗ 2013 barin.livejournal.com BR LLK 10529

Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind  1973  Freedom is Frightening

For his 1973 debut album, the Far East's answer to Ginger Baker teamed with his violinist wife Hisako, ex-Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper, school friend keyboardist Brian Gasgoigne, and ex-Brian Auger Trinity's/contemporary Isotope guitarist Gary Boyle. Their debut album, Freedom Is Frightening is a panorama of extremes that gust across myriad genres. The title track is a master class in atmosphere and tension building, slowly expanding from the early long, sparse, foreboding electronica into progressive pyrotechnics. Wind Words is serenity itself, but both Rolling Nuns and Pine on the Horizon are free-form jazz fusions, rolling in and out of funk, with the latter featuring scorching, Stax-styled horns courtesy of Sammi Abu. The album's intricate arrangements, stellar musicianship (particularly Boyle's lightening guitar on Nuns, Hisako's emotive violin on Wind, her husband's fireworks on Freedom, and Hopper and Gascoigne's contributions throughout), astounded progressive and fusion fans alike, and still sound sensational today.