Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Houzan Yamamoto and Yu Imai in 1978's The Devil Comes and Plays the Flute
Keeping with the Japanese theme here we have a really precious gem out of left field, information in Japanese here. It turns out this is a collaboration between a very prolific, usually quite humdrum artist called Houzen Yamamoto: Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute) performer and composer. Born October 6, 1937 in Otsu, Shiga. Died February 10, 2014. He was recognized as a "living national treasure" by the Japanese government in 2002 --and another artist with a smaller discography, Yu Imai.
The first track clearly states the OST theme which reappears gracefully throughout and the well studied classical small string ensemble with its touches of mystery and danger:
Houzan Yamamoto ...A-1.3 B-188.8.131.52.6.
Yu Imai ...A-2.4.5 B-2.3
The mixture of classical, funky fusion, and the expressive flute are what make this pure magic. We are very lucky to hear this here, a rare and expensive record, highly in demand as you can see on its page, with 352 wants--!