Since his early death, Kaoru Abe has attracted much attention and a loyal following among aficionados of free jazz and improvised music, but fans who might be tempted to listen for signs of the alto saxophonist's impending doom in this recording made on August 29, 1978, in Hokkaido might be disappointed, for the simple reason that there's not much music to listen to: 14 and a half minutes of actual playing preceded by a minute and 41 seconds of "rehearsal" (this amounts to little more than a couple of arpeggio warm-ups, some shuffling, and the sound of Abe clearing his throat, and one wonders why it was included at all). Once it gets underway, the music, despite the kind of boxy acoustic Abe collectors have long since grown accustomed to, is as good as might be expected. Abe was a tempestuous player whose influence can be discerned not only in the work of his compatriots Masayoshi Urabe and Tamio Shiraishi but much further afield. Releasing this as a complete album when it could fit on a 7" single is, however, almost as controversial as the life and times of the saxophonist himself.
AllMusic Review by Dan Warburton