Saturday, November 5, 2016

Yosuke Yamashita Trio - 1974 - Clay

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 

01. Mina's Second Theme 21:15
02. Mina's Second Theme (Cont.) 7:35
03. Clay (Dedicated To Muhammad Ali) 15:15

Clarinet, Alto Saxophone – Akira Sakata
Drums – Takeo Moriyama
Piano – Yosuke Yamashita

Date: June 2, 1974
Location: Live at the open-air III, New Jazz Festival in Moers, Germany.

Special thanks to the festival management, the WDR broadcasting station and Burkhard Hennen for their kind cooperation.

This owns, ladies and gents! More excellent blowing from the sax player (Akira Sakata, I think), who mixes almost Ornette-like lyricism with much more prominent lung-powered dissonant fireworks, more impeccable and relentless drumming from Moriyama (who could put out a legion of speed metal freaks easily), and Yamashita”s persistent piano lines (it is amazing how this man could pull out so much from the high-pitched register of his piano) are blooming everywhere, the recording captured all the magic of this trio. In one word: ferocious. More like Bruce Lee than Casius Clay, if you ask me.

 I'm amazed at the sheer energy and stamina of these three musicians. Keeping it going at full throttle for well over 40 minutes is no mean feat and there is an intensity and an underlying sense of violence

Heady stuff in other words and a source of inspiration for a younger generation mixing the in your face attitude of punk and rock with the abandonment of free impro. Perhaps no wonder that Sakata has recently played with the Scandinavian power trio The Thing. Mads Gustafson is a huge admirer, which shouldn't surprise anybody listening to these tracks.

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