YOSUKE YAMASHITA

Avant-Garde Jazz / Post Bop / Third Stream / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Jazz Related Improv/Composition / Progressive Big Band / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Latin Jazz / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop • Japan
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YOSUKE YAMASHITA picture
Yamashita studied piano as a child and has played professionally since the age of 17. He attended Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo from 1962-1967 and played for a time with saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. Yamashita formed a bassless trio in 1969; his Bill Evans-influenced style expanded to include free jazz, a rather radical step given the conservatism of the Japanese jazz scene at the time. Beginning in the '70s, his trio toured widely and played many major European events, including the Berlin and Montreux jazz festivals. Yamashita's U.S. debut was at the 1979 Newport Jazz Festival; he also recorded with members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago around that time. In the '80s, Yamashita began playing frequent solo concerts. He also branched out stylistically, playing with Japanese and Korean percussionists and incorporating adaptations of classical works into his repertoire. Yamashita has worked with many internationally famous artists, including Max Roach, read more...
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YOSUKE YAMASHITA Discography

YOSUKE YAMASHITA albums / top albums

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita Yosuke Trio : Mina's Second Theme album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yamashita Yosuke Trio : Mina's Second Theme
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita Yosuke Trio : Mokujiki album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Yamashita Yosuke Trio : Mokujiki
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio With Brass 12 ‎: Introducing Takeo Moriyama (aka Gugan) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio With Brass 12 ‎: Introducing Takeo Moriyama (aka Gugan)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
YOSUKE YAMASHITA April Fool : Coming Muhammad Ali album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
April Fool : Coming Muhammad Ali
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1972
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Frozen Days album cover 4.52 | 2 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Frozen Days
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Breathetake album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Breathetake
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Banslikana (aka Yosuke Yamashita) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Banslikana (aka Yosuke Yamashita)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita & Yasutaka Tsutsui : Ie (家) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita & Yasutaka Tsutsui : Ie (家)
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1976
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Inner Space (with Adelhard Roidinger) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Inner Space (with Adelhard Roidinger)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1977
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Wave Song album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wave Song
Avant-Garde Jazz 1977
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Umbrella Dance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Umbrella Dance
Avant-Garde Jazz 1977
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Sunayama album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Sunayama
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
YOSUKE YAMASHITA 筒井康隆 , 山下洋輔トリオ ‎: 筒井康隆文明 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
筒井康隆 , 山下洋輔トリオ ‎: 筒井康隆文明
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1978
YOSUKE YAMASHITA First Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
First Time
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio : A Tribute To Mal Waldron album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio : A Tribute To Mal Waldron
Post Bop 1980
YOSUKE YAMASHITA 12,617.4km album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
12,617.4km
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1980
YOSUKE YAMASHITA ONE(紙ジャケット仕様) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
ONE(紙ジャケット仕様)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1980
YOSUKE YAMASHITA A Figure of Yōsuke Yamashita Vol.1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Figure of Yōsuke Yamashita Vol.1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
YOSUKE YAMASHITA A Figure of Yōsuke Yamashita Vol.2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Figure of Yōsuke Yamashita Vol.2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Kidnaping Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kidnaping Blues
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1982
YOSUKE YAMASHITA わしのパンじゃ!! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
わしのパンじゃ!!
Avant-Garde Jazz 1983
YOSUKE YAMASHITA The Inner Space Of Yasutaka Tsutsui album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Inner Space Of Yasutaka Tsutsui
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Sentimental album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sentimental
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Rhapsody In Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhapsody In Blue
Third Stream 1986
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Plays Gershwin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays Gershwin
Post Bop 1989
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Sakura album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Sakura
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
YOSUKE YAMASHITA New York Trio featuring Joe Lovano : Kurdish Dance album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
New York Trio featuring Joe Lovano : Kurdish Dance
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Playground album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Playground
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Dazzling Days album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Dazzling Days
Post Bop 1993
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Ways Of Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ways Of Time
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Standards album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Standards
Post Bop 1996
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Nights In New York album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nights In New York
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Spider album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Spider
Post Bop 1996
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Canvas In Vigor album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Canvas In Vigor
Post Bop 1996
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Canvas In Quiet - Homage To Morio Matsui album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Canvas In Quiet - Homage To Morio Matsui
Third Stream 1996
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Mona Lisa: Hayashi Eiichi Plays Standards album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mona Lisa: Hayashi Eiichi Plays Standards
Post Bop 1997
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎ : Wind Of The Age album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎ : Wind Of The Age
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1997
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Dr. Kanzo (OST) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dr. Kanzo (OST)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1998
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Fragments 1999 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio ‎: Fragments 1999
Post Bop 1999
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Resonant Memories album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Resonant Memories
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Field Of Grooves (フィールド・オブ・グルーヴス/山下洋輔) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Field Of Grooves (フィールド・オブ・グルーヴス/山下洋輔)
Progressive Big Band 2001
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio Featuring Meisho Tosha & Kiyohiko Semba ‎: Pacific Crossing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio Featuring Meisho Tosha & Kiyohiko Semba ‎: Pacific Crossing
Post Bop 2003
YOSUKE YAMASHITA KIZASHI '04 〜富樫雅彦バラード・コレクション〜 /山下洋輔 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
KIZASHI '04 〜富樫雅彦バラード・コレクション〜 /山下洋輔
Post Bop 2004
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Graceful Illusion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Graceful Illusion
Post Bop 2004
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Mystic Layers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Mystic Layers
Post Bop 2006
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Encounter: Yosuke Yamashita Piano Concerto No.1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Encounter: Yosuke Yamashita Piano Concerto No.1
Third Stream 2007
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York trio : Triple Cats album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York trio : Triple Cats
Post Bop 2008
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Explorer/Sudden Fiction album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Explorer/Sudden Fiction
Third Stream 2008
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Tenshi No Koukotsu album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tenshi No Koukotsu
Jazz Related Soundtracks 2008
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Delightful Contrasts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Delightful Contrasts
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Sparkling Memories album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sparkling Memories
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Sado & Siena album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sado & Siena
Third Stream 2014
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Special Big Band : Bolero / Pictures at an Exhibition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Special Big Band : Bolero / Pictures at an Exhibition
Progressive Big Band 2014
YOSUKE YAMASHITA New York Trio : 30 Light-Years Floating album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New York Trio : 30 Light-Years Floating
Post Bop 2018

YOSUKE YAMASHITA EPs & splits

YOSUKE YAMASHITA トリオ・バイ・トリオ・プラス1  - Trio By Trio + 1 (with Oki Itaru Trio,Ono Yuji Trio,Kasai Kimiko) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
トリオ・バイ・トリオ・プラス1 - Trio By Trio + 1 (with Oki Itaru Trio,Ono Yuji Trio,Kasai Kimiko)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970

YOSUKE YAMASHITA live albums

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Dancing 古事記 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Dancing 古事記
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Concert In New Jazz album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Concert In New Jazz
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Alone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alone
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita Trio : Clay album cover 3.57 | 2 ratings
Yamashita Trio : Clay
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Up-To-Date album cover 4.02 | 2 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Up-To-Date
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio : Montreux Afterglow album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio : Montreux Afterglow
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Chiasma album cover 4.05 | 3 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Chiasma
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
YOSUKE YAMASHITA 嵐 (Arashi) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
嵐 (Arashi)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1977
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Invitation: Yosuke In The Gallery album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Invitation: Yosuke In The Gallery
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Hot Menu album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Hot Menu
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Picasso album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Picasso
Avant-Garde Jazz 1983
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Trio + 1 : In Europe 1983 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trio + 1 : In Europe 1983
Avant-Garde Jazz 1983
YOSUKE YAMASHITA It Don't Mean A Thing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
It Don't Mean A Thing
Avant-Garde Jazz 1984
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Kodo vs Yosuke Yamashita In Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kodo vs Yosuke Yamashita In Live
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 1986
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita & Hozan Yamamoto: Bolero album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita & Hozan Yamamoto: Bolero
Avant-Garde Jazz 1986
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Crescendo - Live At Sweet Basil album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crescendo - Live At Sweet Basil
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Quartet ‎: Jazzbühne Berlin '83 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Quartet ‎: Jazzbühne Berlin '83
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Ghosts By Albert Ayler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Ghosts By Albert Ayler
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Sakura Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sakura Live
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Asian Games (with Bill Laswell / Ryuichi Sakamoto) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Asian Games (with Bill Laswell / Ryuichi Sakamoto)
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1993
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Meets Brazilian Friends : Stone Flower - Homage To A.C. Jobim album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Meets Brazilian Friends : Stone Flower - Homage To A.C. Jobim
Latin Jazz 1997
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Live 1973 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Live 1973
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita,Yosuke Trio album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yamashita,Yosuke Trio
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Grandioso album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio : Grandioso
Post Bop 2013
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita Yosuke x Suga Dairo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yamashita Yosuke x Suga Dairo
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Special Big Band : From The New World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yosuke Yamashita Special Big Band : From The New World
Progressive Big Band 2015

YOSUKE YAMASHITA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

YOSUKE YAMASHITA re-issues & compilations

YOSUKE YAMASHITA The Complete FRASCO Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete FRASCO Recordings
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Triple Cats: The 20th Anniversary Of Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Triple Cats: The 20th Anniversary Of Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Trio By Trio + 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trio By Trio + 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yamashita, Yosuke Trio album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yamashita, Yosuke Trio
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012

YOSUKE YAMASHITA singles (0)

YOSUKE YAMASHITA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhapsody in Blue
Progressive Big Band 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Brilliant Moments
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Reviews

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Frozen Days

Album · 1975 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
After success of kind and underground following of his early releases,one among best Japanese advanced jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita released series of very strong albums,which never received true fame. Mid-70s in Japan (and even more that - in Western world) were years of fusion fever and yesterday's free jazz stars were almost forgotten in one day.

"Frozen Days" released in 1975 is one of such Yamashita's album, and it's very special on its own manner.Cover photo is a piece of art itself - all three trio members are pictured in a rural ambiance,most probably a barn, in a very last autumn's day when sun is a rare guest,it's still no snow outside, but dry grass with first traces of freeze on it shows that another short warm season is finished. Every time I look on this cover it recalls me Haruki Murokami's "A Wild Sheep Chase", excellent Japanese existentialism book about fragility and meaningless of life,released seven years after "Frozen Days" has been released.

Yosuke,originally heavily influenced by Cecil Taylor, here plays lighter, less percussive and more expressionistic. Saxophonist Akira Sakata, regular Yamashita's trio member and future Japanese scene star, is not so screamy and noisy as often. He is still full of explosive energy, but it's better controlled and his liquid soloing is touched by lite sadness. As very often in Japanese jazz, here is enough space for silence, but somehow all music is extremely well framed on a manner of artistic miniature.

All three musicians still play as on any other of trio's album of that time - as if their lives depend on it, but it's a rare album where attentive listener can hear that they as well play as if there is no tomorrow. And quite surprisingly, there almost feels no drama, just understanding, accepting it as higher power and Buddhist reconciliation.

Being of the same highest technical level as some other Yamashita's works of that time, "Frozen Days" is different by that very unique not only for Yamashita's music, but for Japanese jazz in whole,emotional coloring.It is not "Samurai jazz" anymore, it's "Haruki Murakami jazz",find this album and probably you will be seriously surprised.

YOSUKE YAMASHITA New York Trio featuring Joe Lovano : Kurdish Dance

Album · 1992 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Two decades away from his short-lived stardom of "Mina's Second Day" or "Clay",Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita is one of rare country's musician who didn't disappear from big jazz scenes after free jazz revolution in Japan just fade away in late 70s.

With newly formed (in 1988) so-called New York trio (with Americans bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheeroan akLaff),Yosuke returned back on European festivals scenes (incl. Montreux in 1993)and appeared regularly at Sweet Basil in New York becoming most popular Japanese jazz pianist in States at that time.

"Kurdish Dance", released in Japan in 1992 and re-released by Antilles in US the year after,is New York trio's best known and in whole best ever work. Differently from his earlier works, Yosuke's material for this trio is mostly pre-written,not fully improvised, and evidences him as great composer(all songs are Yosuke's originals here). Album's opener "Kurdish Dance" is excellent song, true jazz standard.Trio's line-up for this album is improved with addition of tenor Joe Lovano, who steals the show on many compositions.

Big part of album's songs have strong tunes, sometimes based on Oriental or Mediterranean folklore. More important, all compositions are deeply based on post-bop roots,what in combination with catchy melodies and strong control on improvisation builds quite accessible music. Still one doesn't need to be afraid that Yosuke went commercial - known for decades as "Japanese Cecil Taylor" for his techniques,Yamashita demonstrates free and impressive piano soloing almost on every composition.

The main difference from Yamashita's earlier music is here he isn't uncontrolled leader/dictator any more: quartet's main target is collective musicianship producing complex and well-executed compositions with strong improvisational element but totally framed and generally sounding as attractive and easy accessible listening. All four musicians really succeeded in it - the album has been received positively not only by freer jazz fans (and won Jazz Prize of The Year in Japan),same line-up recorded "Dazzling Days" next year(more relaxed and somehow better polished work).

Being quite easy accessible for purchase,"Kurdish Dance" is one great example of best Japanese jazz coming from 90s - time period far not all that well known in Western world.

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Inner Space (with Adelhard Roidinger)

Album · 1977 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita built his name as one of the country's avant-garde jazz leader with his bass-less trio founded still in 1969 (with drummer Takeo Moriyama and tenorist Seiichi Nakamura,in 1973 Nakamura has been changed by alto sax player Akira Sakata). Early-mid 70s were all years of trio's fame documented by representative collection of studio and live albums, all containing high energy fast and tight strongly improvisation music.

Year 1977 was a transitional for Yosuke, when he disbanded the trio and started playing in different new formats, from solo to combo with members of Art Ensemble of Chicago."Inner Space" is a small album, coming from that time and it evidences quite unusual for Yosuke music - four duets with groovy acoustic Austrian bassist Adelhard Roidinger.

From very first seconds it becomes obvious that you're listening to different Yosuke album - airy,almost mellow and dreamy tunes would fit well on one of ECM albums of the time. Still sound is quite different from what is known by "ECM sound" - "Inner Space" has warm deep acoustic sound more usual for Japanese Three Blind Mice audiophile label.

By it's atmosphere album reminds some other transitional albums of the era, when duo combines two quite different artists, better example is Archie Shepp and NHO Pedersen's "Looking At Bird", recorded and released in 1980. There on "...Bird" one could hear advanced Shepp's sax soloing contrasting with extremely earthed Pedersen straight bass. Here on "Inner Space" Yosuke plays Cecil Taylor-kind of piano improvisations framed by almost hard-boppish Roidinger bass line. Surprisingly,in both cases what sound suspicious on paper works well in real life.

It took another decade for Yamashita to form his new trio (this time - with Americans bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheeroan AkLaff) - so-called New York Trio, which bring him popularity in States at last. "Inner Space" stays Yosuke's most mellow album coming from his early period (late 60s' - 70s), and one of his most beautiful one.

YOSUKE YAMASHITA 嵐 (Arashi)

Live album · 1977 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
"Akashi"(嵐)is exceptional album in history of Japanese avant-garde jazz. Recorded in September 1976 and released next year, it is kind of swan song of country's free jazz golden era.

Pianist Yosuke Yamashita beside of Masahiko Satoh is a key person in Japanese avant-garde jazz piano. Heavily influenced by Cecil Taylor, Yosuke has his own sound though - not so heavy,very fast,colder(more mechanical?)and kind of sliding. Still main "Akashi"'s hero is not him, but excellent sax player Akira Sakata who at the time was regular member of Yamashita Trio. With third trio member Shota Koyama and guest reedist Gerald Oshita band surprisingly often sounds as much bigger orchestra. Being a direct recording from live show with 13-piece Butoh dance troupe, double album contains some places where not much happens (at least musically) what made it a bit inconsistent (obviously video version could fill that gap), but it doesn't destroy the overall impression too much.

Starting from catchy cover art (with one of dancers pictured in action)and very first opener's sounds the listener can expect something non-ordinary and he wouldn't be disappointed. Almost twelve-minutes long opener "Moonlight Desert" is perfect tuneful song with one sax playing almost straight beautiful melody and the other jumping and squawking all around with unbelievable speed and intensity.

In longer than one and half hour concert there are everything you want - free jazz sax acrobatics, characteristic Eastern percussion,ethnic Japanese elements and ambient noises,blended with dancers steps on the scene's floor,which can be well heard in moments and than become part of rhythm section. There are trio's very own version of Albert Ayler's "Ghosts"(Ayler was a very strong influence to sax player Akira Sakata) or better to say - two versions, which cover vinyl version Side A and opens Side B. The later contains screaming vocals (in Japanese) by its intensity and emotional level beating highest Japanese standards.

Central album's part (partially sides B & C) are filled mostly with short minimalist piano-led miniatures, sometimes almost groovy, in moments - near classic, almost all - elegantly beautiful,which most probably serving dance troupe actions. Still two longer pieces (between 18 and 21 minutes long) return band on the front of the scene.

Very variable, this album has that cinematic feel when the music is of so good quality that being formally a soundtrack for theatrical action is successfully living its own life. And even more - all this is played and performed live - and that real-time atmosphere is perfectly presented.

Even late 70s already weren't so great for such music in Japan, it's just a miracle how such a large-scale show/recording ever happened. Very soon domestic free jazz stars will go low profile playing small underground venues or re-switching to always popular on Japanese scene hard bop.

Being a Japanese-only release, this album stayed in a shade for decades. Reissued by Super Fuji Discs as double CD set, it became more accessible (but not all that cheap still). For fans of Japanese free jazz or/and Akira Sakata's sax playing it's worthy of every euro spent though.

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Yosuke Yamashita Trio ‎: Chiasma

Live album · 1976 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Yosuke Yamashita is one of most respectable Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist, touring Europe annually starting from 1974.At very beginning of his career he shortly played with Sadao Watanabe and soon founded his own bass-less trio.

This album is his very first live recording from European tour (recorded in German gig in 1975). Trio sounds astonishing - Yosuke is extremely technical and fast piano player, here on this concert he demonstrates almost monstrous combination of precise musicianship and explosive temperament.Drummer and sax player are both of the same high level, so all six compositions just sound as one excellent dynamic jazz explosion.

All pieces recorded on this album are pre-composed and it's really interesting to hear how skilled trio combines quite framed musical compositions and art of improvisation. Obviously piano-led album, by its atmosphere this recording could be compared with Peter Brötzmann's music from same period (but with precision and angularity so characteristic for Japanese avant-garde jazz).

Excellent album for genre's fans.

YOSUKE YAMASHITA Movies Reviews

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