Okumoto, Ryo - Coming Through

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 110
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:45:00

I am no different from any other music lover; I place expectations and have ideas about what I am going to hear long before I actually listen. When I looked at Ryo Okumoto's new solo album, I thought..."Cool, I'll bet this is going to be one of those Planet X type instrumental extravaganzas." I was so wrong. What I got was so much more than that. There are some instrumental gems most certainly, like the lead off track "Godzilla vs. King Ghidarah," which is Okumoto's tribute to his homeland and the classic B-science fiction films. The song is more than seven minutes of jazz rock fusion that is a mirror of past great compositions, comparable to what Corea, Clark, DiMeola, and White recorded back in the early 70s. "Free Fall" is another instrumental dynamo that is most impressive. Then to make a complete paradigm shift, "Slipping Down" is slice of pop and rock, much like what he would play in Spock's Beard or similar to something that you would have heard on Neal Morse's solo album. Bobby Kimball of Toto is the main vocalist for Ryo and he sounds tremendous, just as he always does. Ryo provides some funky grooves for Kimball to envelop his heart-felt vocals around. This music is so emotionally charged that it energizes you and makes you feel the music opposed to just hearing it. "Close Enough" has a great instrumental intro that reminded of Deep Purple in their heyday, what a great song. I have to say that the switching back and forth from the harder-edged fusion to the rock-pop is a nice mixture. It was an intelligent way to arrange the disc; it will satisfy all the diehard instrumental fans and keep the hardcore prog-heads and rock and pop lovers satisfied quite nicely. Then for those of you that can appreciate the classical influences in progressive rock the closer "Imperial," is a gorgeous example of acoustic keyboard playing and splendid way to close out the album.

I have to hand it to Okumoto; he has put together one fantastic team in the studio to make an astonishing album. Neal Morse, Glen Hughes, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Nick D'Virgillio, and his very young son Sage, who plays drums for dad, and more, are all in the studio to help make this quite a musical event. Now if all this great music is not enough there is a special bonus multimedia CD as well. A montage of pictures depicting Ryo's life from when he was a little boy to present day in a slide show format via a Quicktime presentation is set to "Slipping Down." The making of the album video has some live footage of the band recording various songs. The one that really got to me was Neal Morse singing "Coming Through," it gave me chills and nearly brought me to tears. Morse sings the song beautifully with tears running down his face; I just do not know how he was able to sing it with all that emotion without breaking down or his voice cracking. I do not know who he is singing about, but my feeling is that it was someone that was close to him that had passed away, or possibly, about God, I cannot be certain; in any event, it is a heart wrenching performance.

This is a superbly performed and produced recording, one of the best of the year. You should not miss hearing this CD.

Godzilla Vs King Ghidarah (7:18) / The Farther He Goes, The Farther He Falls (5:43) / Slipping Down (5:57) / Highway Roller (4:04) / Free Fall (4:03) / Coming Through (5:21) / Close Enough (18:58) / The Imperial (5:20)

Ryo Okumoto - piano, hammond organ, mellotron, mini moog, Jupiter 8


Glenn Hughes - vocals
Bobby Kimball - vocals
Neal Morse - vocals
Nick D'Virgilio - vocals, drums
Dave Meros - bass
Alan Morse - guitar
Simon Phillips - drums
Kenny Wild - bass
Steve Lukather - guitar
Michael Landau - guitar
Dave Carpenter - acoustic bass
Jun Sumida - rhythm guitar
Michael Mishaw - backing vocals
Andy Suzuki - tenor saxophone
Doug Webb - alto saxophone
D. Jon Papenbrook - trumpet
Sage Okumoto - drums
Linda Green Okumoto - backing vocals

Solid Gold (1980)
Makin' Rock (1980)
Synthezier (1980)
Spock's Beard - The Light (1991)
Spock's Beard - Beware of Darkness (1995)
Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Spock's Beard - Official Live Bootleg (1996)
Spock's Beard - The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
Spock's Beard - From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Spock's Beard - Day For Night (1999)
Spock's Beard - Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home (2000)
Spock's Beard - V (2000)
"Winners Of The Heart/Free Fall" (single) (2001)
Coming Through (2002)
Spock's Beard - Snow (2002)
Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria (2003)
Spock's Beard - The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Spock's Beard - Octane (2005)
Spock's Beard - Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard (2006)
Spock's Beard - Live (2008)

Spock's Beard - The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard - Spock's Beard's Home Movie (VID) (1998)
Spock's Beard - Live At The Whisky (VID) (1999)
Spock's Beard - Making Of V (VID) (2001)
Spock's Beard - Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
Spock's Beard - The Making Of Snow (DVD) (2004)
Live In Tokyo, Japan (DVD) (2004)
Spock's Beard - Live (2008)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: November 3rd 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.ryookumoto.com
Hits: 692
Language: english


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