Masaomi Kondo & The Freedom Unity – Hitoribochi no Heya
Canyon – CAL-3002
Japan, 1971

From Tiliqua Records: “Kondo Masaomi is a well know Japanese actor who made this one-off LP in 1971. He raps away on 6 tracks about various plant species such as the Mandragora, breathing out an endangered atmosphere that borders at times on sheer anarchy and agitation. He ain’t no singer, by far but recites his texts in an distraught, frenzied, well-controlled and even calm fashion, gliding on the funky psychedelic groovy airwaves that his backing band – the Freedom Unity – churns out in an addictive fashion. The Freedom Unity on this occasion consisted out some of the finest musicians to be on the scene and included heavyweight players such as Sato Masahiko (piano); Ishikawa Akira (drums – Uganda etc); Sugimoto Kiyoshi (guitar – Count Buffaloos, Hino Hideshi Group, Rock Communication, etc), Terakawa Masaoki (bass – Love Live Life + 1, Ishikawa Akira & Count Buffaloos, Dema), Muraoka Takeru (Sax – Uganda, Count Buffaloos, Love Live Life +1, Dema) and Suzuki Hiroshi (Trumpet – various line-ups of Freedom Unity). The music they bring forth ranges from jazz, free jazz, psychedelic groovy acidic jams, jazz rock and fuses neatly with Kondo Masaomi’s raps, making it a perfect unison that resembles at times the musical greatness of Innocent Canon. It is funky, jazzy, psychedelic, groovy and intoxicatingly hip shaking all at the same time. A true amalgamation and genre-crossing disc, hybrid like for some reason only Japanese records seem to pull off without loosing face. This sole recording by Kondo is largely unknown outside this island here but it is regarded and revered as a great cult item and upon spinning this disc it is easy to understand why. It just has all the right ingredients: funky bass lines, killer guitar exploits, butt-shaking jazzy vibes, rare groove spiritual like rhythms, shrinking sax insertions, fuzzy wah-wah action, crazy raps etc, all executed by top level musicians. Magical slide out of 1971, shedding another light on Japans acidic free psychedelic moves and shakes.”

A1 ツタ (Ivy)
A2 オリーブ (Olive)
A3 キャベツ (Cabbage)
B1 サボテン (Cactus)
B2 マンドラゴラ (Mandragora)
B3 バイバブ (Baobab)

Masaomi Kondo – vocals
Masahiko Satoh – piano, electric piano, arrangements
Takeru Muraoka – sax
Hiroshi Suzuki- trombone
Kiyoshi Sugimoto – guitar
Masaoki Terakawa – electric bass
Akira Ishikawa – drums
Michio Yamagami – lyrics

Posted by Jeff Michael – Blues Mind Matter – Endless Planets Blog