Friday, 11 January 2019
Tony Koba's Rough and Smooth from 1981 Japan
Tony Koba's only album, from 1981, with a stellar lineup of Japanese all-stars including fellow percussionist Shuichi "Ponta" Murakami, the unfortunately named 'Pecker' (Masahito Hashida), Nobuyuki Shimizu, Toshiyuki Daitoku, Ken Watanabe... He was a friend of Jun Fukamachi, but sadly for us his friend didn't play on this album.
Track 2 called "Miracle of Tungus" to me presents an electric guitar riff that is almost a miracle of progressive fusion songwriting:
As the LP title might indicate there is a slightly bipolar (not schizophrenic) mixture of harder, edgier fusionoid material and fuzak silky smoothness, plus pop balladry a la George Benson, the latter of which are not entirely successful especially when compared with such official progressreview-discovery albums as Rainbow Chaser by Miyako Chaki or the Anli Sugano Shining Wave.
As an example of the smoothness on the bipolar spectrum, Summer Moon:
A wonderful lost LP and slice of Japanese early 80s fusion though, for sure.