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(48 min, Musea FGBG-4636 / Poseidon PRF-032)
TRACK LIST: 1. Dr. Bloodmoney 7:00 2. Whom I Loved in My Childhood 12:06 3. Minotaurus 6:48 4. Blue Monday 5:05 5. L'Aiquile Creuce 9:09 6. April Dancer 8:34 LINEUP: Yuko Tsuchiya - keyboards & piano Daisuka Yamasaki - wind instruments Yoshiyuki Sakurai - bass Eiichi Tsuchiya - drums
Prolusion. EAST WIND POT is a new pot in the kitchen of Japan's Progressive, though the band's founder keyboardist Yuko Tsuchiya (ex-Theta) isn't a novice on the scene.
Analysis. It sometimes happens that the content of the so-called supporting material enclosed with a CD strongly conflict with the actual state of affairs. Here is just such a case. In the press kit, the music of East Wind Pot is described as something between pure jazz and jazz-fusion with some hints of Prog in the style of Weather Report, Brand X and Chick Corea. With no fear of being upbraided for being too self-confident:-), I assert that this statement is quite groundless. No pure jazz here. The points of comparisons are altogether useless. Well, the distinct originality of the music in conjunction with its pronounced progressiveness, raised to the power of the musicians' competence in composition coupled with their mastery in the performance department, is the only virtue of East Wind Pot's eponymous debut album. But who would dispute this virtue's all-embracing nature? Even that little cluster of the Prog audience who mistakenly consider Jazz-Fusion to be a non-progressive genre might feel comfortable listening to this recording, at least for the most part. I will explain. I think only Blue Monday (which is the shortest track here) may evoke non-recognition in some Prog Rock lovers, due to its closeness to orthodox Jazz Rock, whose typical features, such as syncopated movements with unison solos and some sketchiness in theme-formation, evince themselves quite often here. The relatively long drum solo on April Dancer makes even me somewhat nervous, though just because it divides this fully coherent and logically evolving composition - elegantly sliding right between Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion - into two parts instead of concluding it, for instance. That said, precisely half of the compositions here are as if expressly (why not just so, on the other hand?) designed to eliminate the distinction between a symphonic and improvisational harmony, most if not all of the soloing parts being composed. The other two pieces placed in the service of this kind deed are Dr. Bloodmoney and L'Aiquile Creuce, although these bring a distinct chamber sense in addition, as they're abundant in acoustic textures, which are woven by the piano, saxophone, clarinet, oboe and some other woodwinds. Organ and bass are the only electric instruments involved here, while drums and percussion are also acoustic, as well as everywhere else on the album. The 12-minute Whom I Loved in My Childhood starts off with the long Classical-like prelude, reveals elements of Classical music in future too, and is the richest in symphonic colors in general. It's full of genuine melodic beauty, though to my personal taste, the events develop somewhat smoother than was necessary. My favorite composition, Minotaurus, is the least melodic, plus it's not devoid of some essential asymmetric constructions. The music is in a state of constant evolution and is often harsh and angry, perfectly fitting the piece's title. When playing organ, Tsuchiya actively presses down on the Distortion pedal, eliciting sounds resembling meaty guitar riffs, though the composition is too manifold to describe it in its entirety. I'll better content myself with the notion that it's just brilliant, to my understanding.
Conclusion. I think the conclusion should be somewhat generalized, like this: "East Wind Pot" is an excellent work of Jazz-Fusion that might appeal to those who like a strong symphonic flavoring to their music. Yes, the merging of styles is part of what I find especially enjoyable about this album. Recommended with no sexual:-) or age limitations. In fact, I could have managed without a smile here, as I know quite a few ambassadresses of the fair sex who are sick of listening to anything but progressive music.
VM: June 2, 2006
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