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Takayanagi, Masayuki New Direction Unit: April Is The Cruellest Month (Blank Forms)

Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit intended for but never issued on the ESP label, this insanely intense and interactive example of Japanese Free Jazz is finally unleashed, from the late legendary guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi and his quartet with wind and reed improviser Kengi Mori, percussionist Hiroshi Yamazaki, and bassist Nobuyoshi Ino.
 

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product information:


UPC: B07R6X48RK

Label: Blank Forms
Catalog ID: BF 008CD
Squidco Product Code: 27438

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Yamaha Music Foundation Studio, in Tokyo, Japan, on April 30th and May 11th, 1975.


Personnel:

Kengi Mori-alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet

Nobuyoshi Ino-bass, cello

Masayuki Takayanagi-guitar, composer

Hiroshi Yamazaki-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Nobuyoshi Ino (born March 26, 1950, Gunma) is a Japanese jazz double-bassist.

Ino began playing professionally in the early 1970s, and worked in that decade with Motohiko Hino, Terumasa Hino, Kosuke Mine, Akira Miyazawa, Masahiko Sato, Isao Suzuki, Hidefumi Toki, and Kazumi Watanabe. Early in the 1980s he played with Masayuki Takayanagi and Aki Takase, then formed a duo with Lester Bowie, performing from 1984 to 1988 (including on the 1985 album Duet). He also worked with Alex Schlippenbach and Sunny Murray in a trio setting and toured with Elvin Jones. He founded an ensemble called Four Sounds in 1989 which featured Kosuke Mine, Fumio Itabashi, and Hiroshi Murakami as sidemen. Later in his career he worked with Masahiko Togashi as well as with Aki Takase once more."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobuyoshi_Ino)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Masayuki 'Jojo' Takayanagi (高柳昌行) (December 22, 1932 - June 23, 1991) was a Japanese jazz / free improvisation / noise musician. He was active in the Japanese jazz scene from the late 1950s. In the 1960s he formed New Directions (later New Direction Unit), which recorded several albums throughout the 1970s. He also recorded several albums with saxophonist Kaoru Abe, including Kaitai Teki Kohkan, Gradually Projection and Mass Projection."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masayuki_Takayanagi)
12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Hiroshi Yamazaki, real name Yasuhiro Yamazaki (山崎泰弘), is a Japanese jazz/free jazz drummer, born in Tokyo. He has performed and recorded with Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit, Otomo Yoshihide, and Evan Parker."

-Discgos 12/10/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. We Have Existed 10:21

2. What Have We Given? 6:43

3. My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart 19:43
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late '60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late '50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority's "free form guitar" in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved.

Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction For The Arts (later, New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi's playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman."

Culled from 1975 sessions by the New Direction Unit, April Is The Cruellest Month was originally slated for release on ESP-Disk before the label's untimely demise that year. Part of the period of Takayanagi's career which he termed "non-section music," one can only imagine how its unholy racket might have altered an international understanding of Japanese noise.

On "We Have Existed" and "What Have We Given?", the classic lineup of Takayanagi with Kenji Mori (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) prove that free improvisation was thriving well beyond western Europe with a set of dilapidated, spacious clanging, Takayanagi's squalling feedback and Mori's Eric Dolphy moves undulating atop the joyous clamor. The cataclysmic "My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart" is another story altogether. Infernal sheets of contorted sound find the berserk instrumentalists hopelessly entangled as they urge the explosion deeper and deeper into ecstatic oblivion.

Rivaled in intensity only by John Coltrane's The Olatunji Concert (1967), Peter Brotzmann's Machine Gun (1968), and Dave Burrell's Echo (1969), April Is The Cruellest Month deservedly sees the light of day on the vinyl format for which it was originally conceived, marking the first issue of Takayanagi's music outside of Japan."-Blank Forms

Also available on vinyl LP.
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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