Friday, June 3, 2016

Masayuki Takayanagi - 1980 - Live At Moers Festival

New Direction Unit 
Live At Moers Festival

01. Bohimei 14:48
02. Resistance 11:49
03. Mass Hysterism 15:20
04. Subconscious Lee 4:39

Alto Saxophone, Flute [Alto], Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Shinobue – Kenji Mori
Cello – Nobuyoshi Ino
Drums, Percussion – Yasuhiro Yamazaki
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar [Gut] – Akira Iijima, Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded live at Moers New Jazz Festival, Moers, West Germany, on May 26th, 1980.

Guitarist Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi (1932-1991) was a towering leader in the Japanese jazz world. His first influence was Lennie Tristano, but through the 1960s and 1970s he explored and pushed the boundaries in free form jazz.
Takayanagi was invited to play with his group New Direction Unit at the 9th annual Moers New Jazz Festival in Germany in 1980, which, as the name suggests, featured only free jazz performances. In front of the 3,000 plus audience, Takayanagi and company had their most radical, fiery and avant-garde performance on record.
Their radical music did not exist in vacuum and was informed by the radical anti-establishment movements and political events. The German narration played over in the opening track ("Bohimei" means "epitaph") talks about Aikichi Kuboyama, a crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a Japanese tuna fishing boat, who died after being exposed to the nuclear fallout from the United State's thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll in 1954. "Resistance 1" is inspired by Kim Chi-Ha, a Korean poet who was jailed for advocating democracy.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 1979 - Second Concept

Jojo Takayanagi Second Concept 
Second Concept  

101. Hi Beck
102. 317 East 32nd
103. My New Flame
104. Froggy Day
105. Palo Alto

201. Sound Lee
202. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
203. Autumn Nocturn
204. Kery's Trance
205. Subconscious Lee
206. These Things

Second Concept/Trio 1979.5.27
301. Froggy Day

Bass – Yasuhito Mori
Drums – Yasuhiro Yamazaki
Electric Guitar – Masayuki Takayanagi
Electric Piano – Kenji Kousei*

Recorded live at 'TARO' (Tokyo) on November 25, 1979.

Initial copies came with a limited edition bonus disk by a trio version of the group containing a mono version of "Froggy Day" recorded on May 27, 1979.

Live 1979 recordings from Takayanagi's quartet performing his "Second Concept", mostly recordings of Lennie Trisanto and Lee Konitz compositions. This concert comes right before his studio release of "Cool Jojo", here stepping up the energy in live performance. The double CD issue includes a 20 page booklet in Japanese and English by guitarist Koichi Hiroki, a student of Takayanagi's school for 17 years.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 1979 - Cool Jojo

Jojo Takayanagi Second Concept
 Cool Jojo 

01. Froggy Day [Ronnie Ball] (5:35)
02. These Things [Masayuki Takayanagi] (4:58)
03. Hi Beck [Lee Konitz] (419)
04. Palo Alto [Lee Konitz] (4:03)
05. 317 East 32ND [Lennie Tristano] (4:44)
06. Subconscious Lee [Lee Konitz] (5:29)
07. My New Flame [Masayuki Takayanagi] (5:06)
08. Lennie's Pennies [Lennie Tristano] (3:16)

09. Froggy Day (alternate take) [Ronnie Ball] (5:37)
10. Hi Beck (alternate take) [Lee Konitz] (4:16)
11. 317 East 32ND (alternate take) [Lennie Tristano] (4:38)
12. Subconscious Lee (alternate take) [Lee Konitz] (5:12)

Masayuki Takayanagi Second Concept
Masayuki Takayanagi: guitar
Kenji Kosei: piano, electric piano
Nobuyoshi Ino: bass
Yasuhiro Yamazaki: drums

Produced by Takeshi Fujii
Recorded by Yoshihiko Kannari at Yamaha Epicurus Studio, Tokyo, December 3-5, 1979
Illustration and design by Makoto Yoshida
Photos by Tsutomu Nishizawa
Includes Japanese liner notes by Masahiko Yu

Originally released in 1980 (without tracks 9-12) as an LP on Three Blind Mice (TBM-5018)
Tracks 9-12 originally released in 2000 on the CD Cool Jojo on Three Blind Mice (TBM-XR-5018)

Guitarist Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi (1932-1991) was a towering leader in the Japanese jazz world. A pioneering figure in free form jazz, he led an influential group called the New Direction and recorded many albums in that style in the 1970s.

Just as the 1970s was coming to a close, he formed a new group called the Second Concept, a simple quartet without horns, to return to his roots: The "cool" jazz style pioneered by Lennie Tristano. On this album, Takayanagi and his band perform compositions -- many of which are based on chord progressions of well known standards -- by Tristano, his disciples Lee Konitz and Ronnie Ball as well as two originals.

They explore and extend the cool style characterized by logical and linear, bebop-based improvisations. On a few tunes, Takayanagi uses an octave-box effector to simulate the "octave" playing a la Wes Montgomery. This Blu-spec CD reissue includes four alternate takes as bonus tracks.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 1975 - Eclipse

New Direction Unit 

01. First Session I (Gradually Projection) 10:47
02. First Session II (Gradually Projection) 9:07
03. Second Session (Mass Projection) 25:23

Alto Saxophone, Flute, Recorder – Kenji Mori
Drums, Percussion – Hiroshi Yamazaki
Electric Bass – Nobuyoshi Ino
Electric Guitar – Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded March 14, 1975 in Tokyo.

1. "First Session" wanders, staggers really, and develops in subtle ways. After being introduced to his work with Mass Hysterism, hearing Takayanagi in that mode - still out there but tethered to things you normally associate with jazz - took some getting used to.

2. People invoke AMM a lot in relation to "First Session." I've never really 'gotten AMM. Maybe that's why it's not as immediate for me.

3. "Second Session," however is exactly what I expected this to be. There's all the chaos of Mass Hysterism but with the added bonus of Kenji Mori's Ayler/Dolphy-ish saxophone trying to match Takayanagi's intensity and fire and actually succeeding.

4. Yeah, "Second Session" isn't quite the live-wire fireball of Mass Hysterism but once again I'm in awe of the sustained chaos that it manages for 20+ minutes. Drummer Hiroshi Yamazaki's arms should have fallen off around the 12 minute mark in my uninformed medical opinion.

5. When the bass joins in the fray in the back half of "Second Session" it might just be better than Mass Hysterism. Sorry for only having one point of comparison here by the way, I'll have a better overall picture of Takayanagi's work in time.Trust me.

What in the hell is Takayanangi doing to that poor instrument? This is the kinda shit no one would be doing today and here he is, creating exploding hell in seventy effing five. Honest talk, the only thing he does on the b-side is feedback and he's bending it inside out like I've heard no one else do. Get this.