Blank Forms

The chronicles of free jazz are characterized by revolutionaries opening fundamental doors for the audiences to acquire an advanced perceptual experience. Still, it did happen from time to time that a restricted number of them jumped ship later on, lured by the siren of a quick buck while being lulled to creative sleep. What separates genuine revolutionaries from the rest is quite the opposite: belonging to a circle of musical comfort, they are deeply shaken by an occurrence which helps them to realize that the path they were treading is not their path. Those artists leave a defined status behind to pursue the truth of a radically new language and never, ever look back until they die.

The earthly existence of legendary guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi lasted only 59 years, but the heat conveyed by his often ferocious performances makes us believe that he’s alive and kicking. April Is The Cruellest Month – originally destined to appear on ESP-Disk – is a refulgent example of top-level schismatic interplay. Kenji Mori (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello) and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) support the leader’s uncompromising vision in full, furnishing the music with a collective spirit that can be represented, depending on the circumstance, by ungodly outbursts (“My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart”) or unplanned contrapuntal organizations informed by the necessity of erasing any hint of formulaic expression (“We Have Existed”, “What Have We Given?”).

Distilling the crucial teachings of sound in every form is a privilege reserved to a few. Most definitely, a newcomer facing Takayanagi’s “art of the freakout” (as the press release perfectly puts it) will have problems in accepting what instead is evident to individuals whose aerials catch more than just one signal. Namely, recognizing the beauty of life’s multi-voiced polyphony, where even what the average brain classifies as “hideous” or “irritating” is welcomed – with all of its harmonic copiousness – by the soul of someone not content with unintelligent delusions dispatched as gospel.

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