Here’s a real esoteric erogenous oddity for die-hard crate-diggers & vault-robbers. Japanese poetess Kazuko Shiraishi delivers sensual, stern, spectral, ritualistic poetry/spoken-word/incant engirdled in richly atmospheric Avant-Garde & recherché Jazz derived oddness & ambience. Kazuko has convoked a wonderful collective with Abdul Wadud on cello, Buster Williams on bass, a percussionist by the name of Andrei Strobert & the elite virtuoso Sam Rivers on multiple reads & piano. This is undoubtedly an exceptionally novel record! Sam’s contribution is enough to swing it for me, but the erotocentric enigma Kazuko, cantillating like some kind of witch-seductress compels an allure of it’s own with the other musicians further fortifying with excellent contributions. I am uncertain as to whether this LP was recorded live or in pieces as a selection of independent over-dubs? All free-floating ambulation’s encircle Kazuko’s recitals, evidently with no premeditation or script.
The style is ornate & arcane but fairly restrained which works wonderfully with Shiraishi’s nebulous mystique. Kazuko’s style of recital is largely phlegmatic & controlled with a reprimanding quiddity. There is regalness & a defined sense of assurance that rarely agitates, quite contrarily to the emotive & raunchy content of her topics. Thankfully, the mass majority of lyrics/mantra are all in Japanese. Kazuko does stop at one point to demand in English of Sam “who plays this piano? I want you to play now!” the percussive elements are really valid, with bells, cymbals, chimes, hand-drums & other unidentified implements twisting small & sparse details at the edges throughout. Wadud & Buster are obviously great & play plenty of murky perturbed bowing & bass scuttles. It’s a very cult & abstruse record of a staunch Avant-Garde calibre evoking humid, inebriated, tenebrous & emotional precariousness. My bridge into this ceremony was via Sam Rivers (Sam is one of those musicians I check everything on) but this LP definitely turned me on (heh) to Shiraishi, who’s books/poetry are well worth checking (you really want to hear her reciting it herself in her native tongue, even if you don’t speak Japanese).
It’s a difficult record to get, but stoic hunters can try that ol’ sum bitch Rick Ballard in Oakland whom I believe still has a vintage stash from his years distributing in Europe – firstname.lastname@example.org
Label: Music Works