Masahiko Togashi with Don Cherry & Charlie Haden
Song of Soil LP
Label: We Want Sounds
Catalog: WWSLP 067LP
LP version. Wewantsounds announce a special edition of the legendary 1979 Masahiko Togashi album Song of Soil, recorded in Paris with Don Cherry and Charlie Haden and released on Japanese label Paddle Wheel. Supervised by Parisian producer Martin Meissonnier -- then Don Cherry's right-hand man -- Song of Soil reaches heights of spirituality mixing Eastern influences with jazz and deep ambient soundscapes. The album is reissued here with its original artwork and remastered by King Records in Japan. Masahiko Togashi's cult classic, Song of Soil was recorded just a few months after the Codona album release but unlike the landmark ECM album, Song of Soil was only released in Japan at the time.
Thanks to Japanese pianist Takashi Kako, who was living in Paris at the time, a session had been set up with Don Cherry and Charlie Haden thanks to Martin Meissonnier, a young journalist and radio producer, who was starting to make an impression on the Paris music scene. Paris at the time was a buzzing city and one of the most active epicenters of jazz creativity. Masahiko Togashi was, at the time, one of Japan's most celebrated jazz musicians. He was a key exponent of the Japanese free jazz movement at the turn of the '60s. Despite an accident that had left him paralyzed from waist down, Togashi became more active than ever thanks to a special drumkit that enabled him to play like before.
He came to Paris to record Song of Soil with the two American musicians who were touring Europe with their Old and New Dreams quartet (they'd played a concert promoted by Meissonnier at the Palais des Glaces on the July 31st). Always on the lookout for new inspiring adventures, Cherry agreed to do the session with Togashi and the musicians headed to the Ramses studio to record the album with Haden as the bassist. Comprised of six Togashi originals, Song of Soil is a superb blend of global improvisational interaction featuring Togashi's deep abstract drumming, Don Cherry's imaginary trumpet playing, and Charlie Haden's expansive basslines.
Also present during the session was Don Cherry's friend, photographer Philippe Gras who'd shot the cult legendary short film Don Cherry in 1968. Gras shot the session for the album release and artwork. For Meissonnier, it was the beginning of a meteoric rise that would see him shape the global sound of the '80s with Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, and Rai musicians. A key album in Don Cherry's discography as well as an essential Japanese jazz album, Song of Soil is a unique meeting of the minds. Includes eight-page color booklet with liner notes by Jacques Denis/Martin Meissonnier and Paul Bowler plus unissued photos by Philippe Gras.