Here’s what I found out about KIMIO MIZUTANI and the album from erstwhile Teardrop Explodes frontman and musicologist, Julian Cope, through his ‘Japrocksampler’ site.
Although essentially a session guitarist, Jun ‘Kimio’ Mizutani is best known for his contributions to such classic early ‘70s albums as LOVE WILL MAKE A BETTER YOU by Love Live Life +1, the self-titled Uganda LP and People’s BUDDHA MEETS ROCK. Along the way, the ex-Out Cast member also released one star-studded LP of his own in A PATH THROUGH HAZE. Taking his lead from Masahiko Satoh’s LP of the same name, Mizutani delivered a record of Zappa-styled instrumentals, accompanioed by Satoh himself and Foodbrain’sHiro Yanagida. The LP was all recorded in a single monster session, in the huge Nippon Gramophon No. 1 Studio, on June 7th 1971, and featured the Toyama String Quartet and Etoh Wood Quartet to further explore the Zappa-meets-jazz consciousness that was so prevalent at the time. Indeed, the record comes across like an album by Glenn Phillips or even something akin to John McLaughlin’s DEVOTION, though without the supreme euphoria achieved on the latter. Besides Mizutani’s rendition of Satoh’s epic title track, the other pieces were ‘Sail In The Sky’, ‘Turning Point’, ‘Tell Me What You Saw’, ‘One For Janis’, ‘Sabbath Day’s Sable’, ‘A Bottle Of Codeine’ and ‘Way Out’.
The excellent ‘The Rare Music Shop‘ site also had this to say:
180g vinyl reissue of this ultra-rare ‘70s Japanese rock album. Kimo Mizutani was the guitarist in the excellent Japanese Freak-out group, Love Live Life + 1 and this reissue is of his first solo album from 1971. Mizutani plays electric and “folk” guitar and leads a largish ensemble (bass, drums, organ, Moog and vocals) through what is widely regarded as one of the true psychedelic masterpeices of the ‘70s Japanese scene. Sensitive interludes (accompanied by the Toyama String Quartet and the Etoh Wood Quartet) , tasteful nods to progressive/fusionist extension and a lovely, hovering psych guitar from Mizutani dominate proceedings. A nice merger of hard rock concxeptualisation and the complexities that would evolve from it…and until now, almost impossible to hear within the confines of Western Society.
LOUD HORIZON – a latter day ‘LOOK & LEARN!’