Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Herbert Joos - 1974 - The Philosophy Of The Fluegelhorn

Herbert Joos 
The Philosophy Of The Fluegelhorn

01. The philosophy of the flugelhorn
02. The warm body of my true love
03. Skarabaus II
04. Rainbow
05. The joker
06. An evening with the vampire

Herbert Joos - all intruments

Recorded in July, 1973, at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, Germany

The Philosophy of the Fluegelhorn is Herbert Joos’s first of two albums for ECM’s sister label JAPO, the second being Daybreak. Where the latter was a lyrical, if longwinded, excursion, the former is something of a meta-statement for the German renaissance man—not only because he plays a bevy of overdubbed instruments, but also because its freer detailing gives pause over the sheer depth of realization.

The title track draws us into the outdoors, where field-recorded birds—and, among them, Joos’s horn—populate the trees with temporal awareness. Sibilant breath and popping bamboo flutes share the entanglement: the rhizomatic spread of Joos’s becoming-animal. Following this undulating prelude, “The Warm Body Of My True Love” opens the stage, a halved and hollowed whole. The nature of this soliloquy must be sought out in stirrings of life, excitations of molecules, and less definable physical properties. The horns are trembling, universal. “Skarabäus II” is of similarly finite constitution, navigating passage into darker dreams and adding to those horns a string’s uncalled-for response to the question of existence. Braided offshoots of trumpet fly around one another, each carrying its own flame of obsession. Next is the smooth and sultry “Rainbow.” Tinged by the alcoholic sunset of vibes, it is a hangover not yet shaken for want of the altered perspective. The squealing litter of horns that is “The Joker” segues into “An Evening With The Vampire.” Bathed in the sounds of nine arco basses, it enacts a morose ending to an otherwise luminescent session. Its sul ponticello screams recall George Crumb’s Black Angels and spin the echo-augmented horn like a chromatic Ferris wheel until the breath stops.

If you’ve ever been curious about Joos but didn’t know where to start, then by reading this you’ve already put your hand on the knob. Just turn it.

Barre Phillips - 1973 - For All It Is

Barre Phillips
1973 -
For All It Is 

01. Just 8 6:45
02. Whoop 3:41
03. Few Too 7:02
04. La Palette 4:30
05. Y En A 6:05
06. Dribble 7:06
07. Y. M. 4:46

Barre Phillips - Bass, Composed By
Barry Guy, J.F. Jenny-Clarke, Palle Danielsson - Bass
Stu Martin - Percussion

Recorded March 12, 1971 at Alster Film-Tonstudios, Hamburg

This unusual meeting of minds pits bassists Barre Phillips (who also penned the proceedings), Palle Danielsson, Barry Guy, and J. F. Jenny-Clarke with percussionist Stu Martin in a tactile playoff with mixed results. It’s remarkable to think that four behemoths could sound so open, and so one shouldn’t be surprised to encounter a few tangles in “just 8.” For the most part, however, this introductory track maintains the clarity of separation that characterizes the album’s latter remainder. Either way, it’s a jaunty ride into an unprecedented sound-world. Martin anchors “whoop” with his engaging loops amid a menagerie of pizzicato signifiers. Along with “few too” it evokes a jack-in-the-box weeping for want of exposure. From that unrequited lament comes a bright promise, skewed by a hope that the world turns not even for itself. It’s a melancholic hope, to be sure, but hope nonetheless. Martin’s absence here makes the track an early standout: just the rocking of bows pressed into myriad shapes by insistent fingertips. “la palette” and “y en a” form another pair, taking a decidedly architectural approach to this most warped string quartet. Together, they form a cycle of destruction, pain, and healing.

The album only really comes together in the final two tracks. Where “dribble” proves an apt title for its dotted ritual, “y. m.” dances like an anonymous car alarm stripped of its batteries and given new acoustic life. The latter is a particularly complex, anchored piece that spits out some utterly brilliant turns of phrase.

For All It Is, for all it is, is above all an exercise in linguistics. Its cognates are familiar, even if the grammars are not. Although I’d likely recommend this one least out of Phillips’s otherwise astonishing ECM outings, for the completist it will be an intriguing blip on the radar of all four bassists’ careers.

Dollar Brand - 1973 - African Piano

Dollar Brand
1973 - African Piano

01. Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro 11:06
02. Selby That The Eternal Spirit Is The Only Reality 2:23
03. The Moon 8:08
04. Xaba 0:40
05. Sunset In Blue 4:25
06. Kippy 5:05
07. Jabulani - Easter Joy 2:06
08. Tintinyana 4:42

Dollar Brand - Piano

After cutting the first jazz record of the African continent, Verse I (september 1959), with Hugh Masekela's Jazz Epistles, in 1962 Southafrican pianist Adolph "Dollar" Brand (1934) relocated to Europe and then to New York. He debuted in the vein of Thelonious Monk, who was hardly avantgarde at that point, with Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Band Trio (february 1963), containing Ubu Suku and The Stride, followed by Round Midnight At The Montmartre (june 1965), also in a trio, that contained The Dream (both also contained Monk covers). Brand's musical ambitions were better represented by the five-part orchestral suite Anatomy of a South African Village (first recorded for trio in january 1965), the manifesto of his fusion of African rhythms, bebop piano and European classical music, and by collections of solo piano vignettes, permeated with a solemn and spiritual sense of nostalgy and often marked by disorienting dissonance: not so much the mediocre Reflections (march 1965), aka This Is Dollar Brand, as the brilliant African Piano (october 1969), that still contained extended pieces such as Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro and The Moon, and African Sketchbook (may 1969), a sequence of brief pieces (mostly under two minutes), the longest being African Sun and Tokai. These impressionsitic miniatures, organized in a stream of consciousness, struck a balance between post-bop techniques, romantic melody and Islamic ecstasy. Despite coming from a different continent, a different race and a different musical genre, Brand's piano music was not too dissimilar from Oliver Messaien's. In 1968 Brand had converted to Islam and changed name (as was fashionable at the time) to Abdullah Ibrahim.
The early 1970s were the age of Brand's majestic solo albums. Ancient Africa (june 1972), one long live medley of Brand compositions, was only the appetizer. One session produced material for two albums: African Portraits (february 1973) and Sangoma (february 1973). The latter, his masterpiece, contained the three-part suite The Alone And The Wild Rose, the six-part suite Fats Duke And the Monk and the side-long three-part suite Ancient Africa. Besides the much inferior Memories (december 1973) and Ode To Duke Ellington (december 1973), the other notably solo album of the era was African Breeze (february 1974). Good News From Africa (december 1973) was a duo with bassist Johnny Dyani.

That magic season was sealed by Brand's masterpiece for large ensemble, African Space Program (november 1973), that contained two suites, the 19-minute Tintiyana and the 23-minute Jabulani, for a twelve-piece unit (piano, three trumpeters, four saxophonists including Hamiet Bluiett, flutist Sonny Fortune, trombone, bass and drums) in the vein of Charles Mingus. Boswil Concert 1973 documents a live performance by Dollar Brand and his wife vocalist Bea Benjamin. Also notable were the Southafrican quintet session with alto saxophonist Robbie Jansen and legendary tenor Basil Coetzee, Mannenberg It's Where It's Happening (june 1974), aka Capetown Fringe, that included his Cape Town Fringe and The Pilgrim: Underground in Africa (march 1974), with three wild horns undermining Brand's bluesy piano during the 23-minute Kalahari; Soweto (june 1975), aka Africa Herbs, that included Soweto Is Where It's At, African Herbs and Sathima, three extended compositions for larger combos; Blues For A Hip King (november 1975), for a septet of piano, two saxophones, trumpet, trombone, bass and drums; The Children Of Africa (january 1976), with Cecil McBee on bass and Roy Brooks on drums, that contained Ishmael and Yukio-Khalifa; the saxophone quartet Black Lightning (august 1976), with the side-long Black Lightning; and The Journey (september 1977), for a nonet featuring Bluiett, Dyani and Don Cherry. There was little in these romantic fantasies that could be called "avantgarde".

An (almost) solo live gig recorded in a Scandinavian jazz club accompanied by much loud eating, drinking and conversation. It's hard to believe that anyone with a working set of ears would not be completely transfixed by this intense and committed performance - my meatballs would have certainly remained untouched until the last note had faded away. Thankfully, the background noise does not interfere with the listeners enjoyment. I first heard this record 20 years ago and even though I spent several of those years without a copy, the indelible impression left by this blend of South African folk melodies and modern jazz sensibility bound together with a constant muscular, supple rhythmic pulse and an almost tangible spiritual sincerity, has kept it as one of my most beloved of all albums. A "must buy" for any Dollar Brand fan, along with "Good News From Africa", the excellent album of duets with bass player (and fellow South African) Johnny Dyani.

Mal Waldron - 1971 - The Call

Mal Waldron
The Call

01. The Call 18:54
02. Thoughts 21:45

Mal Waldron - Electric Piano, Written-By
Jimmy Jackson - Organ
Eberhard Weber - Electric Bass
Fred Braceful - Drums

Seeing as Mal Waldron inspired Manfred Eicher to put out his first release, Free at Last, on what was to become the legendary ECM label, it is only fitting that his name should also grace the first release of its relatively short-lived companion imprint, JAPO. Through the magic of digital reissue, many of these once elusive albums can now be experienced for the first time, if not anew. Dipping into the waters of The Call (not to be confused with the Charles Lloyd record of the same name) is like tripping on the past as if it were the Here and Now. Over two long takes, averaging 20 minutes each, he and an all-star team transport us to a warm and inviting sound that is equal parts hard bop jam, psychedelic dream, and free jazz meditation.

The title track brings an enervating sound, slick and classic as can be. Bassist and future ECM mainstay Eberhard Weber, along with drummer Fred Braceful, spurs us through some thickly settled spaces, courtesy of Jimmy Jackson on the organ, all led by Waldron’s interplanetary surf. This joyful epic peaks in a glorious bouquet of heat distortion, smooth as it is sere. Lively solo action from Weber and Braceful pushes the band’s sound into delicate relief, throwing us into a dark groove before restoring us to light.

“Thoughts” is an altogether different spoonful. A diary of aural scribblings, it unfolds private wishes with meticulous patience. After a watery intro, Waldron lays down a chalky little vamp. Subtler denouements and a twist of introspection complete the cocktail. You’ll find no miniature umbrella peeking out above this rim…only the curve of a listening ear. Waldron skips us like a stone into heavier grooves, which in return spiral into whispers. Drums curl inward, and in these quiet crawlspaces between the floorboards of the mind, we take our rest, lost among the dust bunnies whose filaments are string and wire and electric current.

This is music that tastes exactly like what it’s made of.

Keiki Midorikawa - 1976 - Grüne Revolution

Keiki Midorikawa
Grüne Revolution

01. An Die Prinzessin Die Aus Dem Maulbeerbaum Geboren Wurde
02. Der Todeskampf Am Maderospatsch

Bass, Cello, Composed By – Keiki Midorikawa
Piano – Masahiko Sato

A live performance: Inspiration And Power Vol.2. Recorded: Tokyo, Nichi-Futsu Kaikan on Jan.16 1976.


101. Dichorragia Nesimachus
201. An Die Prinzessin Die Aus Dem Maulbeerbaum Geboren Wurde
202. Der Todeskampf Am Maderospatch

Cello, Bass – Keiki Midorikawa
Drums, Percussion – Masahiko Togashi (tracks: 1-1)
Guitar, Voice – Masayuki Takayanagi (tracks: 2-1)
Piano – Masahiko Sato* (tracks: 2-2)

Recorded on January 16, 1976 at Nichi-Futsu Kaikan, Tokyo. Concert produced by Teruto Soejima, Keiki Midorikawa
"Beyond description", 4th date of 'Inspiration & Power vol.2'.

The original LP of this work was a duo with Takayanagi on A side and a duo with Sato on B side. But in the actual concert Midorikawa played a duo with Togashi about 40 minutes, and afterward he played a duo with Takayanagi and with Sato both about 20 minutes. The original LP didn't include the Togashi duo on, but Doubtmusic found a tape of Midorikawa - Togashi duo, and this 2CD set conveys all the performances that day as a complete version on a different tape, which was re-mastered, so the quality on this set is higher than the original LP.

Midorikawa's free improvisation that playing duo with each Togashi, Takayanagi, Sato is inventive and in consequence, each music is very beautiful. Those music are prime free-jazz that quietness and intensity seem like spindrift

Keiki Midorikawa - 1975 - Five Pieces Of Cake

Keiki Midorikawa 
Five Pieces Of Cake

01. Soi-Di'Sant 11:51
02. Harmonious-Outcast 10:48
03. Involved Elevation 07:46
04. Transit 04:44
05. Message 08:14

Keiki Midorikawa, bass(A2, B1, B2), cello(A1, A2, B3)
Yoshiaki Fujikawa, alto saxophone(A2, B1), flute(A2, B3)
Hiroaki Katayama, tenor saxophone(A2)
Tadashi Yoshida, trumpet & marimba(A2)
Shoji Nakayama, drums(B1, B2)

Recorded: April 19/20, 1975 at the New Meguro Studio, Tokyo, Japan.

Masayuki Takayanagi, Peter Kowald & Midorikawa Keiki - 2012 - Encounter and Improvisation

Masayuki Takayanagi, Peter Kowald & Midorikawa Keiki 
Encounter and Improvisation 

01. Encounter And Improvisation 44:03

Bass – Peter Kowald
Cello – Midorikawa Keiki
Guitar, Effects, Takayanagi Masayuki

Recorded at Studio 200, Ikebukuro, Tokyo on April 29, 1983.
The CD is packaged in cardboard 'Mini LP' style sleeve. The barcode for this release is not on the sleeve itself but on a sticker that was placed loosely inside the plastic protective sleeve.
Includes insert with liner notes and detailed credits in English and Japanese.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2012 - Archive 2

New Direction Unit
Archive 2 

01. improvisation 3 (20:39)
02. improvisation 4 (22:22)

Drums [Drum], Percussion – Hiroshi Yamazaki
Electric Guitar – Akira Iijima, Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded at New Direction Unit Regular Concert Vol.57 on 1984.9.24 at Jean Jean, Shibuya, Tokyo. The two recordings are from the second set.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2009 - Archive I

New Direction Unit
Archive I

Disc 1 (B-14)

   1. Improvisation 1 (23:52)
   2. Improvisation 2 (16:52)
   3. Improvisation 3 (15:35)
   4. Improvisation 4 (19:07)

New Direction Unit
Masayuki Takayanagi: gut guitar (2, 3), electric guitar (1, 4)
Yoshiaki Fujikawa: flute (3), clarinet (2), alto saxophone (4), soprano saxophone (1)
Hiroshi Yamazaki: percussion (2-4)
Akira Ijima: gut guitar (2, 3), electric guitar (1, 4)

Recorded live at Another Situation first concert, Pulcinella, Shibuya, Tokyo, September 4, 1977

Disc 2 (B-15)

   1. Improvisation 1 (16:19)
   2. Improvisation 2 (13:16)
   3. Improvisation 3 (9:31)
   4. Improvisation 4 (14:13)
   5. Improvisation 5 [Mass Projection] (23:53)

New Direction Unit
Masayuki Takayanagi: gut guitar (1), electric guitar (2, 4, 5)
Yoshiaki Fujikawa: flute (1), clarinet (4), alto saxophone (3, 5), soprano saxophone (2)
Akira Ijima: gut guitar (1), electric guitar (2, 4, 5)

Recorded live at New Direction Unit Regular Concert No. 35, Jean Jean, Shibuya, Tokyo, June 2, 1977

Disc 3 (B-16)

   1. Improvisaiton 1 (13:47)
   2. Improvisation 2 (11:43)
   3. Improvisation 3 (11:40)
   4. Improvisation 4 (9:59)
   5. Improvisaiton 5 [Mass Projection] (27:21)

New Direction Unit
Masayuki Takayanagi: gut guitar (2), electric guitar (1, 3, 5)
Yoshiaki Fujikawa: flute (2), clarinet (3), alto saxophone (4, 5), soprano saxophone (1)
Hiroshi Yamazaki: percussion (1-3, 5)
Akira Ijima: gut guitar (2), electric guitar (1, 3, 5)

Recorded live at New Direction Unit Regular Concert No. 36, Jean Jean, Shibuya, Tokyo, August 4, 1977

Disc 4 (B-17)

   1. Improvisaiton 1 [Gradually Projection] (39:02)
   2. Improvisation 2 [Mass Projection] (38:38)

New Direction Unit
Masayuki Takayanagi: gut guitar, electric guitar
Yoshiaki Fujikawa: flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Hiroshi Yamazaki: percussion
Akira Ijima: gut guitar, electric guitar
Kenji Seyama: percussion

Recorded live at New Direction Unit Regular Concert No. 39, Jean Jean, Shibuya, Tokyo, February 10, 1978

Disc 5 (B-18)

   1. Improvisation 1 (19:40)
   2. Improvisation 2 (14:46)
   3. Improvisation 3 (12:36)
   4. Improvisation 4 [Mass Projection] (22:20)

New Direction Unit
Masayuki Takayanagi: gut guitar (2), electric guitar (1, 4)
Kenji Mori: flute (1), bass clarinet (2), alto saxophone (4)
Nobuyoshi Ino: bass (1, 2, 4)
Hiroshi Yamazaki: percussion (1, 2, 4), drums (3)
Akira Ijima: gut guitar (2), electric guitar (1, 4)
Kenji Seyama: percussion (1, 2, 4)

Recorded live at New Direction Unit Regular Concert No. 43, Jean Jean, Shibuya, Tokyo, October 6, 1978
Includes an insert with a chronology of New Direction Unit (in Japanese) by Saburo Sugitani
Includes an 8-page booklet with liner notes in Japanese by Michiko Takayanagi, photos of memos written by Masayuki Takayanagi, and a photo of Masayuki Takayanagi by Tatsuo Minami

Released in June 2009
Limited edition of 500

AMAZING RELEASE!! Between 1977-1978 Japanese improvising guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi performed with his "New Direction Unit" in a series of concerts of different formats (trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, &c). This "Archive" box set included the recordings of 5 concerts in Japan: the "another situtation" concert at Purcinera and "Regular Concerts" from Jean Jean in Shibuya. Comprised of live improvisations, this beautifully packaged box also has a booklet with details on the concerts, though most of the text is in Japanese, and an insert with discographical information.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2011 - Solo

Masayuki Takayanagi
ソロ / 1989.12 中途半端が何かを狂わす

101. Lonely Women
102. Kary's Trance
103. Theme Of Ayler
104. Song For Che
105. Lennie's Pennies
1989.12 中途半端が何かを狂わす
201. 1989.12 中途半端が何かを狂わす 1
202. 1989.12 中途半端が何かを狂わす 2

Guitar: Masayuki Takayanagi
Recorded at Yokohama Airegin on December 21, 1982.

The first 300 copies of this CD came with a two track spoken-word bonus disc named "1989.12 中途半端が何かを狂わす". This was originally distributed on cassette to the mourners at a memorial service for Takayanagi, held on June 21, 1992 at Jazzmen Club in Yokohama.

This recording is the last night of Takayanagi's modern jazz guitar-style. After this night, Takayanagi played more free, noisy-guitar solo style (Action Direct) and/or guitar machismo style (translation of Ayler's style by his guitar - Angry Waves ) and/or Tango style guitar. He released his masterpiece called "Lonley Woman" ( TBM ) on 1982, and its accomplishment is this recording exactly"-Jinya

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2011 - Meta Improvisation

Masayuki Takayanagi 
Meta Improvisation (Hokkaido Tour November 21-28, 1984)

101. Kushiro-1 At "This Is" November 21, 1984 27:17
102. Kitami-Mass Projection At "Van" November 23, 1984 11:17
103. Kushiro-3 At "This Is" November 21, 1984 5:35
104. Obihiro-2 At "Obihiro City Library" November 25, 1984 13:12
105. Hakodate-2 At "Bop" November 28, 1984 6:09
106. Hakodate-4 At "Bop" November 28, 1984 4:14
107. Obihiro-3 At "Obihiro City Library" November 25, 1984 7:20

201. 1984.11.28 Hakodate-5 5:00

Guitar, Tape, Electronics – Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded live during the Hokkaido Tour of November 21-28, 1984. Initial copies included a bonus disc with the unreleased track "Hakodate-5" recorded on November 28, 1984

First edition including a bonus disc with the unreleased track "Hakodate-5" recorded on November 28, 1984. Takayanagi's live solo performances recorded from 1984 Hokkaido Tour, selected and edited by Otomo Yoshihide; incredible electronics and guitar work from the pre-Action Direct freestyle improviser... "This is Takayanagi's live solo performances recorded from 1984 Hokkaido Tour. tunes were selected and edited by Otomo Yoshihide. those takayanagi solo performances were cued himself to organize "ACTION DIRECT" right after. So "Meta Improvisation" is the pre-"Action Direct", that is to say: all tunes are previously unreleased."-Jinya

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2007 - Complete La Grima

New Direction For The Art 
Complete La Grima

01. "La Grima" 41:45

Guitar – Masayuki Takayanagi
Percussion – Yamazaki Hiroshi*
Saxophone – Mori Kenji

Recorded at Genya Festival in Sanrizuka on 14 August, 1971. Thanks to Takayanagi Michiko, Saito Yasunori (jinya disc).

"La Grima (Tears) was performed on August 14, 1971, at the Genyasai festival in Sanrizuka, Japan. The first six minutes or so of this performance can be heard on the omnibus LP Genya (released on CD in 2004). This CD presents the complete, unedited version of the performance.
As if to slash through the audience's scornful, jeering reaction to Takayanagi's opening remarks, the group launched into a fiercely convulsive performance. Despite having a variety of objects thrown at them, Takayanagi and the others kept on playing. They ended the performance to a storm of booing and shouts of "Go home!" For this release it was meticulously remixed and then mastered. Thus, the performance of "La Grima" by the newly-launched New Direction for the Art has been reborn in a fresher, more vivid form.
The photos are from the scrapbook of Kenji Ishiguro, who was shooting on site in Sanrizuka at the time. Among them are a couple of rare shots in which Takayanagi can just be seen."-Doubtmusic

During the 1960s and early 1970s the Japanese government sought to build a new airport (to become Narita International) east of Tokyo to relieve congestion at the airport in the city. Through complications and resistance by those who lived on the land desired by the planners, the government started expropriation procedures towards farmers and homeowners, who fought back and were quickly aided by leftists who feared the expansion was primarily for US military use in event of a heating up of the cold war. Though the protests were often violent, the evictions continued and the inevitable construction came. As with most movements on the peace and love side of the political spectrum, art was a part of the expression of frustration, and some involved in the anti-airport cause arranged for the Genyasi festival to take place in Sanrizuka, a town near the site.  

On August 14, 1971, near the height of the land appropriations, Masayuki Takayanagi and his group, generally monikered New Direction Unit but here labelled New Direction for the Art, played the Genyasi. The performance, fully released here for the first time on this CD, was a fiery, propulsive affair and the reaction to it was in like kind. As briefly summarized in the album notes the band was jeered, criticized, and had various items thrown at them while playing, and chants of "go home" erupted after they finished. All good to point out that no matter how radical people may envision themselves they are often quite behind the times in their musical tastes and reactionary in opposition to its creation. (You can lead an activist to water but you can't keep him from spitting in his own drink.) It's understandable that music of this (truly radical) kind can be rejected by tender ears, even today some 35-plus years later, but the power in evidence on this recording is undeniable.

Takayanagi's improvised work with his cohorts has tended to veer towards the ferocious chaotic stylings of the European free jazz scene, at least to my not-so-tender ears, but in La Grima the airs are unmistakably of the African-American side of this particular genre. Takayanagi himself spreads shards of guitar noise in a blistering manner reminiscent of Sonny Sharrock while maintaining some of the strange stateliness of Derek Bailey. Saxophonist Kenji Mori seems to be channeling Archie Shepp or perhaps some of the looser, more psychotic episodes of Albert Ayler's musicianship. It's left up to percussionist Hiroshi Yamazaki to cling closest to the old continent by defying any sense of rhythm. All together it is murderously brilliant and perfectly representative of troubled times. With a feel of focused complaint and resultant speculation often found in Coltrane's late career, the single lengthy work here still spazzes and perculates as if the civil rights ferment of the '60s needed to be squeezed through a tight shutter-point of new realization to emerge fully formed in the more cynical and dangerous '70s. Perhaps a pivotal moment for Takayanagi? A rejection of a Taylor-esque mild consideration and an embracing of a Brotzmann-esque pure, cleansing blast? I could never be certain as the maestro is currently deceased, but what I receive from this disc tells me it is of no great matter: the prophecy rejected in the past does not necessarily lose its meaning because of the public's antipathy, but reveals - as all good art should - to the individual. It reveals to me the apothesis of human uniqueness.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2006 - Mass Hysterism In Another Situation

New Direction Unit 
Mass Hysterism In Another Situation

01. Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit - Mass Hysterism (a)
02. Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit - Mass Hysterism (b)
03. Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit - Mass Hysterism (c)
04. Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit - Mass Hysterism (d)

Drums, Percussion – Hiroshi Yamazaki
Electric Guitar – Akira Iijima, Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded live at Kid Ailack Hall, August 14, 1983.

A forty minute twin guitar attack consisting of distortion and feedback backed by insane free form 100 mile an hour drum onslaught.

Legendary free noise musician Masayuki Takayanagi(g) leads Akira Ijima(g) and Hiroshi Yamazaki(d) through a session at the aptly named Kid Attack Hall on Aug 14, 1983.

Keith Whitman:
"for me, this disc has long been one of the highlights of electrified free jazz from any era/location. fans of rudolph grey’s blue humans and latter-day free-energy/rock-damage practitioners such as lambsbread owe it to themselves to check this out..."

1. You probably won't like this.

2. Seriously, unless you're a very specific type of music listener, you probably won't like this

3. To elaborate, there are no themes here. No riffs. Nothing that remotely approached melody. No solos. Nothing to tie this to any specific type of music outside of the fact that it is made by instruments. It's exactly the type of thing people think about when they use the cliche that it's not music, just noise.

4. What there is in place of all those things is the most important thing: atmosphere. Takayanagi coaxes hellish torrents of feedback over proto-blastbeat drumming to give you the impression of being in the middle of a tornado. It's chaos in the purest form imaginable.

5. Do I need to further re-iterate that you probably won't like this?

6. The reason that I like this? I'm attracted to sounds I've never heard before, more and more as i get older and seem to have run out of "new" things to listen to. I appreciate well made revisions of known forms, but even more I love being surprised.

7. That's not to say that I've never heard anything like this before, but I don't think I've ever heard it maintained at such a startling level for any similar amount of time. I keep thinking that these guys - the drummer especially - should have passed out, gone deaf or run screaming from the beast they've created long ago, but it keeps going.

8. Let me reiterate: these guys made this thing live. There are no breaks. The track demarcations are nigh-on arbitrary, it's just a 40-minute barrage of ear piercing guitar torture and maniacal drumming. Forty goddamn minutes.

9. So yeah, you won't like this. I'm warning you because I care.

Takayanagi found it: the most suitable title for an album in the whole history. Mass Hysterism.
While the duo of Takayanagi and Akira Ijima or how the guy was named boils really, really hard and it reduces Borbetomagus to ashes in terms of harshness, it also reduces Hijokaidan to tiny atoms of crap in terms of interest it can span (so please, take your time and do not think of this album as if it were the disposable run-of-the-mill piece of Japanoise). Both guitar players are extremely into their thing, and each part of the four of this album does surprise through the timbral and tonal maelstrom, throwing notes and feedback away in the most random, irrational manner man could barely dream of. The percussion provided by Yamazaki might not be the ultimate groove, since he does not hold any rhythm whatsoever, but one thing we cannot deny is that THE GUY BEATS THOSE DRUMS VERY, VERY RELENTLESSLY. So each beat is more than audible, and this idiosyncratic web of beats sets a quite adequate background for the electric clash between the two ”vintage jazz” guitar greats.
All in all: no rhythm. No logic. No trace of ”melody”. Extremely harmonic, a true delight for the senses awaiting to be fried. Embrace it and do not let it go if you know you can, and do not even try trying to hear it if you are not sure that you want.

Masayuki Takayanagi - 2001 - Mass Projection

Masayuki Takayanagi & Kaoru Abe -
Mass Projection

01. Mass Projection-1 29:25
02. Mass Projection-2 24:38

Alto Saxophone, Shakuhachi [With Reed] – Abe Kaoru
Guitar Masayuki Takayanagi

Recorded live at "Station '70", Shibuya, Tokyo, on 9th of July, 1970.

This album is part one of the concert that continues with Gradually Projection, catalogued as DIW 415. Mass Projection is the insanely torrid concert meeting of free music masters Kaoru Abe (now deceased) and guitarist Masayuki Takayanaga. Now into the 21st century, there are few recorded dates -- live or in the studio -- that have reached a level of white-hot improvisation or communication as this one has. And in this case the critic's opinion makes no difference; Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, John Surman, Ray Russell, and others have proclaimed the integrity of this skronkfest as seminal in their own development as improvisers. Consisting of two long tracks (over 20 minutes each), what is being blasted to the angels of heaven is an active study in the pursuit of musical and language boundaries, those imposed on each instrument separately and in tandem with one another in performance. On first listen, it may be difficult to discern where the "listening" aspect of improvisation comes in, because both players go full bore for the entire performance -- talk about an exercise in stamina. But there is also listening in speech. If one pays careful attention to Takayanaga's guitar tones, they actually shift accordingly to the lines played by Abe and the way he moves from high to low register, seldom playing in the middle. There is also, in all that screeching and bleating, an attempt to "sing with one voice." When the dynamics do change and one instrument drops out, the overtone quality of the other shifts to compensate. Most importantly, one can plainly hear how often they start and stop on a dime in unison. Make no mistake, what you are hearing is noise -- deafening, roaring, ear-splitting, heart-wrenching noise -- but it is made with such purpose, such sincerity and rage, that this music sounds like nothing less than men who are screaming to one another in tongues of fire while trying to fly with the beautiful wings of crazy, illuminated, dark angels of revolution and life.