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Don't Forget the ex-YMO, Harry Hosono

Harry HosonoLooking back the history of rock music in Japan, perhaps the most important band was and still is "Happy End". Formed in the late 60's and making a debut in 1970 with "Happy End", in the following year, they released a classic, "Kazemachi Roman" before recording the last album, "HAPPY END", in the States with some members of Little Feat and Van Dyke Parks, as the producer.

The importance was to establish a style of rock in Japanese language with a heavy influence of Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield as such and each one of the 4 guys of the band was to lead the scene in Japan straight after the happy end.There should be lots to be talked about for those 4 guys, but the most unique one was Haruomi Harry Hosono, whose grandfather was one of those survived from Titanic, who are to sail into an ocean of various music of the world. With some influence of James Taylor and some west coast music, he recorded "Hosono House" at his home in Hyde Park, Sayama city where US military forces were about to leave.

Harry Hosono Soon after the release of the first album Harry's unique talent was to bloom to start releasing a series of albums which would be name "Exotica Trilogy" just before him getting into the world of Techno, YMO. With some obvious influence of the late Martin Denny, "Tropical Dandy" came out first in 75. It was like a sound track of never existed movie of travelling islands in the Pacific Ocean where Harry's imaginative power was to mix completely different factors of world music which lead to the following classic of "Taian Yoko, Bon Voyage Co.". This album, ,to be called "Amazing classic" by Todd Rundgren, was a melting pot of modern trad rhythm and music of the world and the typical example of the master piece is a track called "Roocho Gumbo" having music and rhythm of Okinawa and Second Line in New Orleans which was like listening 2 songs at the same time, but still they are together as one.

Harry HosonoI suppose Harry had completed this project of "Exotica" with "Paraiso", he was to travel to India with an artist, Tadanori Yokoo, who did marvelous illustration for Santana's "Lotus, Live at Budokan" or Miles Davis' "Agharta" & "Pangaea" and recorded an album, "Cochin Moon", which really was a bridge of the "Exotica" and YMO" and here you could hear Harry Hosono's pure techo music before him getting into more pop world of YMO. This albums is worth checking if you are familiar to YMO.

However this time at FRF, his band is called Harry Hosono Quintet and perhaps he will be playing more of the "Exotica" music rather than Techno, I guess, as he appeared to be ever so happy playing at Hyde park Music Festival in Sayama where his classic album, "Hosono House", was born originally and the most of the songs were selected from his early works. I never could guess his classic music sounds like to those who know Hosono of YMO, but to us, an old fan of Harry, it would be like a dream show if he plays those "Exotica" classics.


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