Masayuki Takayanagi

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Swing Journal All-Star Orchestra (1956), 6/10
New Directions Quartet (1957), 6/10
New Directions Quartet (1958), 5.5/10
Flower Girl (1966), 6/10
The Smile I Love (1966), 5.5/10
We Now Create (1969), 6.5/10
Independence (1969), 5.5/10
Call in Question (1970), 6/10
Direction (1970), 6/10
Gradually Projection (1970), 6.5/10
Mass Projection (1970), 5.5/10
La Grima (1971), 6/10
Free Form Suite (1972), 6.5/10
Jazz Guitar Forms (1973), 6.5/10
Panic (1974), 6/10
April is the Cruelest Month (1975), 6/10
Eclipse (1975), 5.5/10
Axis Another Revolvable Thing Parts 1 and 2 (1975), 5.5/10
Grune Revolution (1976), 6/10
Cool Jojo (1979), 5.5/10
Lonely Woman (1982), 5/10
Pulsation (1982), 5.5/10
Guitar Solo (1982), 6.5/10
Dislocation/Alternative (1983), 5.5/10
Mass Hysterism in Another Unit (1983), 6/10
Meta Improvisation (1984), 6.5/10
Follow the Dream (1984), 6/10
Action Direct (1985), 6/10
850113 (1985), 5.5/10
Experimental Performance (1986), 6/10
Lukewarm Position Derails Something (1989), 5/10
Reason for Being (1990), 5.5/10
Inanimate Nature (1991), 6/10
Three Improvised Variations on a Theme of Quadhafi (1991), 5.5/10
El Pulso (1991), 5.5/10
Archive 1 (2010), 5/10

Masayuki Takayanagi (1932), a veteran of Japanese jazz bands since the late 1950s, when he led the Swing Journal All-Star Orchestra (october 1956) and the New Directions Quartet (september 1957) and the New Directions Quintet (march 1958), was one of the earliest noise guitar improvisers, and the first (with Keith Rowe) to use the table-top guitar. Flower Girl (1966) and The Smile I Love (Jinya, 1966) were recorded by a quintet led by the guitarist. We Now Create (may 1969), with the side-long Variations On a Theme of Feedback, was recorded by a quartet of guitar, percussion, trumpet and cello/bass.

In 1969 Takayanagi formed his New Directions trio (initially Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and cello, Yoshisaburo Toyozumi on percussion) that proceeded to record Independence (september 1969 - Union, 1970), Call in Question (march 1970 - PSF, 1970), with the addition of Motoreru Takagi on sax,

Direction (june 1970), Gradually Projection (july 1970) and Mass Projection (july 1970) were duets with reed player Kaoru Abe.

La Grima (august 1971 - Doubt Music, 2007) documents a 41-minute free improvisation from august 1971 by the trio of Masayuki Takayangi, Kenji Mori on sax and Hiroshi Yamazaki on drums (New Direction For The Art).

Free Form Suite (may 1972 - Three Blind Mice, 1972), with the three-movement Free Form Suite, credited to New Directions For The Arts with Kenji Mori on clarinet, flute and saxophone, Jazz Guitar Forms (november 1973) for a quartet with Kenji Yokoyama on piano (two side-long jams, Collabolation and Straight Away), April Is The Cruellest Month (may 1975), credited to New Direction Unit but still a quartet with Kenji Mori and a rhythm section, Eclipse (may 1975) and the double-LP Axis Another Revolvable Thing Parts 1 & 2 (september 1975), all with the previous line-up.

Panic (august 1974) was a collaboration with pianist Mitsuaki Kanno. Grune Revolution (january 1976) was a collaboration with bassist/cellist Keiki Midorikawa.

Cool Jojo (december 1979) was credited to Second Concept (Kenji Kousei on piano and the usual rhythm section). The more traditional solo guitar album Lonely Woman (august 1982) was a tribute to Tristano and Coleman. Pulsation (may 1983) was a duet with percussionist Masahiko Togashi. Dislocation/ Alternative (december 1983) and 850113 (january 1985) were credited to Angry Waves. Mass Hysterism in Another Situation (august 1983) was recorded by a New Direction Unit that featured a second guitarist, Akira Iijima. Follow The Dream (november 1984) was credited to Masahiko Togashi (a percussionist) & His Improvisation Jazz Orchestra.

But he also recorded extremely cacophonous works outside the group, starting with the Solo (december 1982) and the live Meta Improvisation (november 1984), containing the 27-minute Kushiro. Action Direct (october 1985) contained three guitar solos. Experimental Performance (march 1986) was a collaboration with John Zorn. Reason for Being (march 1990) was a duet with trusted bassist Nobuyoshi Ino. Inanimate Nature (august 1990 - Jinya, 1991) contains four lengthy live solo improvisations. Three Improvised Variations on a Theme of Quadhafi (december 1990 - Jinya, 1991) contains three lengthy solo studio improvisations. El Pulso (1991) is a live collaboration with other guitarists.

He also recorded with saxophonist Kaoru Abe (who died of a drug overdose in 1978 at the age of 29): Kaitaiteki Koukan/ Deconstructive Communication, recorded live in june 1970, Gradually Projection (july 1970) and Mass Projection (july 1970), the latter two recorded at the same live performance.

The five-disc box-set Archive 1 (Jinya, 2010) collects five live performances.

Masayuki Takayanagi died in 1991.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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