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Strona Główna Jazz Yoshi Wada Yoshi Wada - Off The Wall (1985)

Yoshi Wada - Off The Wall (1985)

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Yoshi Wada - Off The Wall (1985)

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A 	Off The Wall I 	20:27
B 	Off The Wall II 	20:02

Yoshi Wada - bagpipes
Wayne Hankin - bagpipes
Marilyn Bogerd - organ
Andreas Schmidt Neri - percussion


Off the Wall was the second Wada LP to be released, on FMP’s SAJ subsidiary (named for Swedish percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson) in 1985, and was recorded in Berlin. The music was arrived at through performing in a number of different churches and similar spaces, allowing for mobile engagement with natural reverb in addition to the layered sonorities of pipes, homemade organ, cymbals, and tuned percussion. The percussionist is Andreas Schmidt Neri and the organist is Marilyn Bogerd, who worked with Wada throughout this period. This LP reissue was remastered by Rashad Becker and issued on Saltern, the label of Yoshi’s son, Tashi Wada, also a composer and contemporary music historian. Compared to the original, this reissue is incredibly rich and balanced, with a presence that the original LP couldn’t quite reach.

Following an alap phase that sets pipes and organ in motion, not to mention their brassy undercurrents, with robust chordal calls and sinewy, plasticized clamber, the ensemble (with kettle drum) sets into a driving, stippled advance. As the bagpipes, played by Wada and Wayne Hankin, skirl and intertwine, it’s not difficult to hear the attraction of this music to an audience more inclined toward free music, as unaccompanied, incisive twitter reminiscent of soprano and alto saxophones breaks against warped unity toward an incredibly dense first-side conclusion. In a bright holding pattern against clattering cymbals and metallic shake, interspersed with deep chordal fluffs, the second half presents more sparsely at the outset, Neri’s mallets dancing an insistent two-step and rendered with clarity. Bogerd’s organ once again takes on grainy, brassy qualities against low rhythmic thrums, pipes bouncing off of gooey long tones in a reflective processional. The piece closes with skipping, loose reed exhalations, Wada and Hankin blurring in a controlled frenzy of muscle, breath, and sound atop the ensemble’s resonant pace. While a relatively basic concept front to back (the graphic score is reproduced inside the gatefold jacket), the results are exhilarating. Wada’s setting of resonance and variable tuning against supple rhythms also recalls Downtown New York contemporaries like Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, and Off the Wall is similarly majestic. With this reissue, we can now hear the music as intended. ---Clifford Allen, tinymixtapes.com

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