Stomu Yamash’ta (born Tsutomu Yamashita) was a percussion prodigy who first made a splash in the modern classical scene, eventually moving to the U.S. to study at Julliard and, later, Berklee. His unusual, acrobatic playing style earned him international attention, which Yamash’ta soon parlayed into a successful career as a composer and fusion bandleader.
Yamash’ta’s Island recordings are his best known. The Man From The East (1973) featured avant-garde and edgy world music not soon forgotten once heard. On Raindog (1975), Yamash’ta mixed instrumental fusion with funk songs. But it was with the short-lived supergroup, Go, that Yamash’ta would make his greatest impact on commercial music. The eponymous Go (1976) assembled a world of progressive fusion talent including Steve Winwood, Michael Shrieve, Al Di Meola, Junior Marvin, Paul Buckmaster and Klaus Schulze for a cosmic concept album that was later staged as an audio-visual extravaganza, captured on Go Live From Paris (1977). A second album, Go Too (1977), was recorded without Winwood, after which Yamash’ta withdrew to join a Buddhist monastery for two years.
When he returned, Yamash’ta focused on longer and largely electronic works including the Iroha trilogy and the internationally released (and in all ways wonderful) “Earth & Sky,” but none have been on the commercial scale of Go. He has focused much of his recent musical energies on the esoteric Sanukit stones: musical instruments made from stone that feature an exceptional range of sound.
PERCUSSION RECITAL (1971)
Variations From “Odoru Katachi” // Hito: i. Ikari / ii. Nemuri // iii.Kanashima / Uzu – Improvisation. Released on elpee in 1971 in Japan (Nippon Columbia, OS-10106-N).
THE WORLD OF STOMU YAMASH’TA (1971)
Variations From “Odoru Katachi” // Hito. Released on elpee in 1971 in Japan (Nippon Columbia, NCC-8004-N).
UZU: THE WORLD OF STOMU YAMASH’TA 2 (1971)
Exaedros I / Nenbutsu – Improvisation // Uzu – Improvisation. Released on elpee in 1971 in Japan (Nippon Columbia, NCC-8015-N).
Metempsychosis I // Metempsychosis II. Co-credited to Masahiko Sato and released on elpee in 1971 in Japan (Nippon Columbia, NCB-7009). Reissued on elpee in 1976 in Japan (Columbia, SW-7037).
RED BUDDHA (1971)
Red Buddha // As Expanding As. Released on elpee in 1971 in Japan (King, SLC-358), in 1972 in the UK (Barclay, 920376), the US (Vanguard, VSD 79343) and France (Egg, 900 569). Reissued on CD in 1996 in France (Spalax, 14512).
SUNRISE FROM THE WEST SEA (1972)
Live tracks: Sunrise From The West Sea Part 1 // Sunrise From The West Sea Part 2. Credited to Yamash’ta & The Horizon and released on elpee in 1972 in Japan (King, SLC(J)-359).
HANS WERNER HENZE/PETER MAXWELL DAVIES/TORU TAKEMITSU (1972)
Prison Song / Seasons (Editions Salabert) / Turris Campanarum Sonantium. Released on elpee in 1972 in the UK (L’Oiseau-Lyre, DSLO 1) with gatefold cover.
FLOATING MUSIC (1972)
Poker Dice / Keep In Lane // Xingu / One Way. Credited to Stomu Yamash’ta & Come To The Edge and released on elpee in 1972 in Japan (King, SLC-423) and the UK (Island, HELP-12). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Cherry Red, ECLEC-2084).
CASSIOPEIA / SO-GU II (1973)
Cassiopeia // So-Go II. Co-credited to Seija Ozawa and the Gagaku Ensemble (side two) and released on elpee in 1973 in the UK (EMI, Q4 EMD 5508).
THE SOUNDTRACK FROM “THE MAN FROM THE EAST” (1973)
Ana Orori / Mandala / Memory of Hiroshima / Mountain Pass / My Little Prayer / Scoop / What A Way To Live In Modern Times. Credited to Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre and released on elpee in 1973 in Japan (Island, ILS-80215), the UK (Island, ILPS-9228) and the US (Island, SMAS 9334). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Cherry Red, ECLEC-2082).
FREEDOM IS FRIGHTENING (1973)
Freedom Is Frightening / Rolling Nuns / Pine On The Horizon / Wind Words. Released on elpee in 1973 in the UK (Island, ILPS-9242). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Esoteric, ECLEC-2087).
ONE BY ONE (1974)
One By One / Hey Man / One By One Reprise / Black Flame / Rain Race / Tangerine Beach / Superstar / Loxcycle / Nurburgring / Seasons / Accident / At Tangerine Beach. Released on elpee in 1974 in Japan (Toshiba/EMI, ILS-80630), the UK (Island, ILPS-9269) and France (Pathe Marconi, 2C 064-95688). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Cherry Red, ECLEC-2083).
Dunes / 33 1/3 // Rainsong / The Monks Song / Shadows / Ishi. Released on elpee in 1975 in Japan (Toshib/EMI, ILS-80214) and the UK (Island, ILPS-9319). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Esoteric, ECLEC-2085).
Solitude / Nature / Air Over / Crossing The Line / Man of Leo / Stellar / Space Theme / Space Requiem / Space Song / Carnival / Ghost Machine / Surfspin / Time Is Here / Winner-Loser. Released on elpee in 1976 in the UK and the US (Island, ILPS 9387).
GO LIVE FROM PARIS (1977)
Live tracks: Space Song / Carnival / Wind Spin / Ghost Machine / Surf Spin / Time Is Here / Winner-Loser // Solitude / Nature / Air Voice / Crossing The Line / Man of Leo / Stellar / Space Requiem. Released on 2LP in 1977 in Japan (Island, ILS-50013/4). Reissued on CD in 2008 in the UK (Esoteric, ECLEC-2086).
Crossing The Line (live)
b/w Winner/Loser (live). Released on limited edition 12-inch in 1977 in the UK (Island, IPR 2014).
GO TOO (1977)
Prelude / Seen You Before / Madness / Mysteries of Love // Wheels of Fortune / Beauty / You And Me / Ecliptic. Released on elpee and cassette in 1977 in Japan (Arista, IES-80891), the UK (Arista, SPARTY-1011), the US (Arista, AB-4138) and Australia (Arista, TC-AL-4138). Japanese version features unique cover. Reissued on CD in 1993 in the US (One Way Records).
IROHA (TEN/CHI) (1981)
Opeing / Chanty / Sutra / Organic Tone / Kyrie / Shingon / Photone // Native / The Autumn / Iroha / Hannya Sutra / The Key / Infinity / Change of Life. Released on 2LP in 1981 in Japan (RVC, RPL-3026/7).
ORIGINAL MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK “TEMPEST” (1982)
Released on elpee in 1982 in the US (Casablanca, NBLPH-7269).
IROHA (SUI) (1982)
Prologue / Sansui / Come To River / Sea / Water Dance/ Suiro / Swell / Serenity / Water Ring. Released on elpee in 1982 in Japan (RVC, RPL-8144).
IROHA (KA) (1983)
Birth / Cosmic Fire / Destiny / In The Heart / Iroha Variation / Our Way / As Far As. Released on elpee in 1983 in Japan (RVC, RPL-8187).
SEA & SKY (1984)
A Photon / Appeared / And / Touched! / Ah… / Time / To See / To Know. Released on elpee and CD in 1984 in Japan (JVC Victor, SJX-30221/VDP-15) and on elpee in 1985 in Germany (Kuckuck, KUCK-072).
O-N / Gah… / And // Touched / Ah… / Ku-Uh / To See / Iroha. Released on elpee in 1984 in Japan (JVC Victor, SJX-30227).
SOLAR DREAM VOL. 1: THE ETERNAL PRESENT (1993)
Released on CD in 1993 in Japan (Kosei, KMYD-5100).
SOLAR DREAM, VOL. 2: FANTASY OF SANUKIT (1995)
Released on CD in 1995 in Japan (Kosei, KMYD-5101).
SOLAR DREAM, VOL. 3: PEACE AND LOVE (1997)
Released on CD in 1997 in Japan (Kosei, KMYD-5102).
A DESIRE OF BEAUTY & WONDER STONE PART 1 (1999)
A Desire of Beauty / Wonder Stone / Consolation / Dream / Failing Light / The Shadow Remains. Released on CD in 1999 in Japan (Sanukite Kouijn, KS-9901).
LISTEN TO THE FUTURE VOL. I (2001)
In The Ambience of A Smile / Abiding Love / Stone Wind / Land of Murasakino, Kyoto / Moonlight In Silence / Dream / Dancing Stone / Beautiful Encounter / Consolation In D Major / Thanks / The Shadow Remains / Rainbow In The Mountains. Released on CD in 2001 in Japan (Sony Music Japan, SSGL 5003).
Co-credited to Ragnhildur Gisladottir and Sjon and released on CD in 2006 in Iceland (Smekklysa, SM 138).
IN ZEN MUSIC VOL. 1 (2011)
Whisper / The Shadow of Love / Murasakino / In A Dream / Drizzly Step / Stone Mountain / Sound of Silence / Hunch / In The Forest / Indication / Rainbow. Released on CD in January 2011 in Japan (Red Buddha).