|Having already provided the Leaf Label with their biggest selling album to date, Sakura, Susumu Yokota has a lot to live up to. But he manages it - and seemingly with ease. |
Grinning Cat his fourth long player is full of optimistic musical phraseology that mirrors the contented environment in which it was created, and in his own words, the wonderful life he shares with his girlfriend and three cats in his newly acquired suburban Tokyo home.
His music is all about painting pictures, creating imaginary scenes like joyful, technicolour glances through a childs eyes at flitting insects King Dragonfly, and our feline friends Flying Cat. He creates compositions that conjure up images of fiery eastern sunsets Fearful Dream, intense bustling city-scapes, a birdsong or seedy backroom indulgences.
This is magical, mystical music that lives and breathes, that tells a story in the way the great composers did: using sounds and instrumental connotations to signify movement and behaviour. Grinning Cat is easily as intimate, complex and poignant, as its predecessor. It floats just as carelessly, softly and ever so wisely, threading together elements of Coltranes jazz, Enos electronica and Reichs tranquillity to create an album that reminds us that masters and masterpieces can exist in our lifetime, and are not simply a thing of the long forgotten past.