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Audio CD, August 17, 2010
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And the album was chosen as #1 special mention album on the major music trading paper WALRUS at that time.
"One of the year's most significant recordings ..... A true unification of Eastern and Western music, the kind that enhances both .... for breaking new ground .... Osamu must be considered extraordinary." - WALRUS
The song #1 "Benzaiten" was produced by the late Hal Yoergler who was one of the greatest producers of all-time in American pop music history.
This short version of "Benzaiten" does not exist without him. What he has done for Osamu is greatly appreciated.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lost the record in 1984. Looked for it for years. Found it in the inter net and record wad selling for upwards of 120 dollars or more. No cd. ..till now. And it is on cd. I
am super happy. Gonna buy another copy, just in case. Track number 5 is supernaturally awesome. If the other song the album were total dogs, and the are not, I would
rate the album 5 stars. Tracks 4 and 5 take me to another place and time. Open your ears and soul. Feel this music and be transported to realm of Benzaiten. Totimo edesu yo!
What exactly is Benzaiten like you ask? Well it takes Japanese and Middle Eastern sounds and creates a very rhythmic and meditative album mostly appropriate for a late night listening experience so you can fully absorb the creativity and rich variety of arrangements. These are slow-moving, almost hypnotizing (and often melodic!) grooves with sitars, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, flutes (lots of flutes) and other interesting instruments doing a great job encouraging the listener to feel like he or she is somewhere far, far away. Anywhere in Asia in fact.
This feels really authentic too. That's another benefit. If I had to pick a favorite song I'd probably pick either track 2 or track 3 titled "Taiyo (The Sun)" and "Tengu (A Long Nose Goblin)" respectively because the guitar soloing is really wavy and dreamy on these particular occasions, and the crunchy King Crimson Larks Tongue in Aspic-like guitar riff serving as the rhythm is pretty awesome. Some of the stuff that jams in the second half of track 4 ("Benzaiten (Reprise") is surprisingly comparable to any kind of authentic Middle Eastern music you've listened to before. "Benzaiten (God of Music and Water)" actually sort of reminds me of mid 70's jazz/fusion Jeff Beck for some reason.Read more ›
Coming from an era when jazz-rock fusion was making headlines and when Isao Tomita made more headlines with his synthesized versions of western Impressionist music, Osamu made his own unique fusion. The short version of the title track (probably a remix of "Benzaiten (Reprise)") blends numerous Japanese percussionists with western funk--very catchy. Despite the combination of electric guitars and drum machines with traditional instruments, the rest of the album feels more serious, and (to this Westerner) very Japanese in character. The slow, almost hypnotic, compositions certainly are neighbors to what would become known as New Age music, but the instrumentation and compositions feel like much more than pleasant background; rather, it is a very successful and interesting blending of musical traditions and styles. In a way, this fusion of a classical Japanese music with guitar is parallel to (and predates) John McLaughlin's amazing and successful work with Shakti, a fusion of jazz with classical Indian music. Osamu is not the same guitar virtuoso that McLaughlin is (well, few are), but his playing here, acoustic and electric, is very well done. His use of traditional instruments seems very respectful and appropriate. No wonder, as the liner notes assert, he was able to entice some master percussionists to this project.
Note that this is a CDR of a fairly short LP.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An album that I had lost contact with many years ago. I feared this odd copy but the sound quality was quite good. Read morePublished 5 months ago by richard lovrich
Great Japanese/Western fusion music. Best of both worlds.Published 16 months ago by george l. blucker
I loved this music when it first came out, but it wasn't my album and the friend who had it broke it. Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by Ann
I love his Masterless Samurai. But this album was a disappointment. The music, what there was of it, was fine. But it seemed lacking in variety.Published on March 4, 2011 by Ken in San Jose