Yosuke Yamashita


Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita (1942) formed a bass-less trio in 1969 with drummer Takeo Moriyama and tenorist Seiichi Nakamura, documented by the live albums Dancing Kojiki (july 1969), Jazz In Tokyo ’69 (august 1969) and Concert In New Jazz (september 1969), and by the studio albums Mina’s Second Theme(october 1969) and Mokujiki (january 1970), by the live albums Trio By Trio + One (may 1970), ’70 Jazz Festival In Nemu (july 1970) and Summer Jazz In Tokyo (august 1970), and finally by the studio album April Fool/ Coming Muhammad Ali (november 1971).
Alto saxophonist Akira Sakata took Nakamura’s place in 1973. The jams of the trio (and the pianist’s stormy style) were captured on Live 1973 (july 1973), that contained a 19-minute version of Yamashita’s Ballad for Takeo (19:01) and a 22-minute version of Akira Sakata’s Zubo (22:22), Yosuke Yamashita Trio(november 1973), Clay (june 1974), with his signature theme Clay, Frozen Days(september 1974), Chiasma (june 1975),Banslikana (july 1976), Arashi (september 1976). Shota Koyama replaced Moriyama on Umbrella Dance (june 1977).
Yamashita also recorded a Piano Duo(december 1973) with Masahiko Satoh, and two collaborations with German pianist Adelhard Roidinger, namely A Day In Munich (june 1976) and Wave Song (july 1977), etc. Yosuke Alone (march 1974),Breath Take (july 1975) and Inner Space(june 1977) were solo-piano collections.
Ie (january 1976) was a session with a small ensemble: trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, trombonist Shigeharu Mukai, altoist Akira Sakata, tenorist Tomoki Takahashi, flutist Seiji Kunishi, guitarist Masayuki Ise, cellists Kunio Muramatsu and Taeko Ohnuki, bassists Hideaki Mochizuki and Jiro Terao, harpist Keiko Yamakawa, and a chorus.
Sunayama (june 1978) featured alto saxophone (Sakata), tenor saxophone, two trumpets, trombone, drums.
First Time (june 1979) was a collaboration with three members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago (Joseph Jarman, Malachi Favors, and Famoudou Don Moye).
Jugemu 1 (february 1981) had a quartet with tenorist Kazunori Takeda, bassist Katsuo Kuninaka and drummer Shota Koyama. Jugemu 2 (august 1981) had trombonist Shigeharu Mukai, bassist Tamio Kawabata and drummer Shuichi “Ponta” Murakami.
Other ensembles included Kidnaping Blues (may 1982) and Jazz Daimyo(february 1985).
Asian Games (recorded in 1988) was a collaboration with Bill Laswell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nicky Skopelitis and percussionist Aiyb Dieng, with material dating as far back as 1988.
In 1988 Yamashita formed a New York Trio with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheeroan AkLaff, documented on Sakura(may 1990), Crescendo (july 1988) and especially Kurdish Dance (may 1992),Dazzling Days (may 1993), Spider (june 1995). Wind Of The Age (august 1997) added saxophonist Ravi Coltrane to the trio.
Canvas In Quiet (july 1996) andResonant Memories (may 2000) were solo piano albums (the latter a collection of covers).
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