(All Album Reviews by Phil Jackson)
One By One is a different ‘kettle of fish’ altogether being the soundtrack to a movie that would become ‘The Quick and the Dead’ (which gets a slating in Jon Wright’s interesting liner notes). It starts off well with some sizzling lightning fast interplay befitting the motor racing theme between Sammi Abus’ flute, Gary Boyle’s stunning guitar with Yamash’ta sticking to percussion joined by Nigel Morris on the kit (Mike Travis is also listed as a drummer) and Hugh Hopper adopting a fuzz bass style (as opposed to the ‘jazz’ bass of Freedom is Frightening) When Abu comes in to deliver the funky vocal “Hey Man” it all goes a bit flat but that’s the restriction imposed by writing for a movie I suppose and all is redeemed by Boyle’s guitar in the reprise. The instrumental segment “Black Flame” shows Yamash’ta’s extraordinary talent in fusing modern classical music (the eerie ‘voices’ like Holst’s “Neptune” with wife Hisako’s violin, Brian Gascoigne’s ‘spaced out’ synthesiser and an orchestral arrangement )that is evident in an entirely different context on the electric piano dominated Latin funk of “Rain Race” that ends almost before it has begun. Again much use of made of swirling synth at the start of “Tangerine Beach” but it is the exquisite classical violin initiated theme that convinces. Not sure about the arrangement though and this is reprised at the end of the soundtrack.
Sammi Abu reappears on “Superstar/ Loxycycle” which could be from Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly. Of course the music is impressionistic and filmic, “Accident” being the most graphic example.
A very different album to Freedom is Frightening then but an interesting example of the versatility of Stomu Yamsh’ta and his extraordinarily talented musicians.