Stomu Yamash'ta


Stomu Yamash'ta is a Japanese percussionist, keyboardist, composer and experimental artist. He is probably best known for his work leading the jazz-rock fusion group Go, which released three albums in 1976-77.

Yamash'ta was born March 15, 1947 in Kyoto. He studied at the Kyoto Academy of Music and made his solo concert debut at the age of 16. From 1964-1969 he studied in the United States with both jazz and classical musicians. His earliest releases were interpretations of classical music or neo-classical pieces written especially for him. His 1971 album "Red Buddha" is an avant-garde all percussion solo work which has been repeatedly reissued.

Beginning in 1972 Yamash'ta began recording jazz-rock fusion albums blended with Japanese traditional influences. He released "Floating Music" (1972) with a short-lived band called [a=Come To The Edge]. In 1973 he formed [a=Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind], a band which included keyboardist [a=Brian Gascoigne], guitarist [a=Gary Boyle], and bassist [a=Hugh Hopper]. This group released two albums, "Freedom Is Frightening" (1973) and the soundtrack "One By One" (1974). Gascoigne and Boyle also played on his next album, "Raindog" (1975), with vocals by [a=Murray Head] and [a=Maxine Nightingale]. Next came [a=Stomu Yamashta's Go], a fusion super group including [a=Steve Winwood], [a=Al Di Meola], [a=Klaus Schulze], and [a=Michael Shrieve].

After a brief retirement at a Buddhist temple Yamash'ta returned to classical concert halls and began recording ambient music with Japanese influences. His "Iroha" series included a disc dedicated to musical interpretations of each of the ancient elements (earth, wind, water, fire). He also recorded the soundtrack album "Tempest" (1982). The only album from this period to receive worldwide release and distribution was "Sea and Sky" (1985). During the 1990s he released a three volume CD series, "Solar Dream", and began a new series called "Listen To the Future" in 2001.