高木元輝、金剛督、竹内直、小山彰太 :Live at Little John,  Yokohama,1999 (NBCD-144  /NBLP- 146)

1999年9月横浜市Little Johnで行われた高木元輝、金剛督、竹内直、小山彰太のライヴから収録。高木元輝最晩年の貴重な記録。


Mototeru Takagi - tenor saxophone
Susumu Congo - alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Nao Takeuchi - tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Shota Koyama - drums



1. Yokohama Isezaki Town   
2. Yokohama Yamashita Town  
3. Yokohama Yamate Town


  • Improvised & composed by Mototeru Takagi, Susumu Kongo, Nao Takeuchi and Shota Koyama
  • Recorded live on the 25th September, 1999 at LITTLE JOHN, Yokohama, Japan by Susumu Kongo and Nao Takeuchi
  • Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
  • Design by Oskaras Anosovas
  • Cover photo by Mitsuo Jofu
  • Booklet photos - Shota Koyama by Yutaka Narasaki / Nao Takeuchi courtesy of Papillon / Mototeru Takagi by Mitsuo Jofu 上上不三雄
  • Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Takeo Suetomi (Chap Chap Records)
  • Release cordinator - Kenny Inaoka (Jazz Tokyo)
  • Co-producer - Valerij Anosov




高木元輝 公式ホームページはこちら


Salt Peanutsのレヴューはこちら

Jazz Tokyoのレヴューはこちらこちら

The Whole Noteのレヴューはこちら


撮影:上不三雄/Mitsuo Jofu


Free Form,Free Jazzより。

Live at Little John, Yokohama 1999  ****(*)

Mototeru Takaji Quartet

NoBusiness Records


Sob o comando do grande saxofonista Mototeru Takaji (1941-2002), este quarteto traz uma instigante formação, com Susumu Kongo (sax tenor), Nao Takeuchi (clarinete baixo, flauta, tenor) e Shota Koyama (bateria). Nesta apresentação captada ao vivo em setembro de 99, no Little John, em Yokohama, nunca antes editada oficialmente, vemos o quarteto em três longas faixas, totalizando mais de 70 minutos de música. Apesar da expectativa que a formação do grupo possa inicialmente causar, não se trata aqui propriamente de energy music, apesar de trazer seus momentos mais ariscos; os três sopros dialogam mais em sintonia e complementariedade do que em um modelo de disputa de espaços. O tom do concerto fica bem demarcado na abertura do primeiro tema (que conta com 40 minutos), no qual dois saxes tenor e o clarinete baixo traçam justo e inventivo diálogo, sem uma voz atropelar a outra ou forçar protagonismos; esse espírito se mantém até o meio da peça, quando a temperatura sobe consideravelmente por algum tempo. O segundo tema abre de forma similar, mas tem uma particularidade marcante, que é o trabalho com o clarinete baixo, que domina as atenções ao ir ascendendo do fundo para criar uma densa e profunda parede, por entre a qual os saxes tentarão se fazer serem ouvidos, sempre com a bateria sutilmente dando a base para os três sopros (o papel impactante do clarinete baixo nessa faixa faz ela se revelar a melhor do álbum). Já o último tema tem uma voltagem diversa, com as flautas assumindo espaço de destaque. Mototeru Takaji, que foi um dos nomes centrais do free jazz nipônico, morreria apenas três anos após este concerto. Diferentes gravações do saxofonista têm sido resgatadas desde sua morte, o que tem nos ajudado a conhecer mais desse grande músico que não deixou uma discografia muito extensa, considerando suas mais de três décadas de atividade. Este disco, assim como o de Itaru Oki, sai em versão digital e em LP, edição limitada de 300 cópias. Os álbuns fazem parte de uma série em parceria com o selo japonês Chap Chap Records, que tem resgatado importantes capítulos da free music do país.



New York City Jazz Records  by Pierre Crépon


The contrast between two recent NoBusiness releases

featuring saxophonist Mototeru Takagi, who would

have turned 80 this month (if the circulating birth year

is to be trusted), underlines a particular aspect of the

free music scene in Japan. Although American avant

garde jazz was a major inspiration for the first local

New Thing players in the late ‘60s, a group to whom

Takagi belonged, a willingness to engage European free

improvisation methodologies also became apparent in

the ‘70s. This could not be said of the U.S. musicians

who had provided the original impetus.

Guitarist and leading European improviser Derek

Bailey first recorded with Takagi in a Tokyo studio in

1978. Unlike Kaoru Abe, the other saxophonist on that

date, Takagi hasn’t yet achieved legendary status. Abe’s

music often seemed to be the expression of a soul laid

bare, at times in a nearly unbearable manner. With

Takagi, there is a greater distance between the listener

and the performer. Although Takagi had mastered the

torrential streams of sound characteristic of early free

jazz, the control he seemed to exert in different

situations made him a very adaptable musician and

presence in many of the early Japanese groups. Takagi’s

travels outside Japan remained limited, but he did

spend time in France in 1974, on the tail of the local free

jazz boom. When he first visited New York in 1983,

he played with drum master Sunny Murray and

violinist Billy Bang.

This adaptability is evident throughout the duet

with Bailey issued as Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987.

Sticking to soprano saxophone rather than his primary

tenor, Takagi negotiates his way through an exhausting

hour-long performance circumscribed by the

parameters Bailey set for his music. The guitarist’s

concentrated focus on unconventional techniques

situates the music in the area of detailed tone

production, set against a sparse background devoid of

all artifacts used by American colleagues. The points

where the instrumentalists’ sonic explorations meet

constitute the session’s primary interest.

Working outside of this circumscribed area,

Takagi’s playing moves on to another order of

magnitude. On Live at Little John, Yokohama 1999, Takagi

is featured on tenor with drummer Shota Koyama and

two wind players one generation younger: Susumu

Kongo and Nao Takeuchi. Respectively playing alto

and tenor and both doubling on flute and bass clarinet,

they will be names known only to specialists of the

Japanese scene but are nevertheless excellent musicians.

The liner essay indicates that Kongo is also a noted

repairman and that Takeuchi has been a student of both

Takagi and Byard Lancaster.

There are several outstanding moments in the

40-minute opening piece, but Track Two is the stunner

and gives an accurate idea of the overall dynamic.

It opens with tenor underscored by low bass clarinet

tones held through circular breathing. A short cyclical

motive signals the move into another phase, which

could be described using the vocabulary applying to

classic free jazz buildups. But here, gradually increasing

intensity does not proceed from cumulative playing

merging into a single sound mass; it results from an

explosive amount of multidirectional melodic and

rhythmic invention from the three horns, all playing

simultaneously, but with impressive delineation. As on

most of the tape, Koyama’s drumming remains

economical and supportive.

Elsewhere, Takagi has also taken the uncommon

step of approaching U.S. free jazz in terms of repertoire,

playing pieces by Ornette Coleman, Charles Tyler,

Steve Lacy or the Art Ensemble of Chicago. This piece

reaches its conclusion as if following the classic

organization of jazz performances that still figured in

the music of the early American pioneers, returning to

the opening statement, calmly and with perfect balance.

This is mature music that uses the best of what had

been uncovered during the long and convoluted history

of free playing. It is also, importantly for an archival

release, not music heard before. Takagi died three years

after this performance.

The CD versions of those two releases contain the

extended performances. On vinyl, duration is reduced

roughly by half. Both recordings are part of NoBusiness’

series of releases in partnership with promoter and

producer Takeo Suetomi’s Chap Chap label (it should

be noted that Chap Chap’s original catalog, difficult to

find outside Japan, is now available on Bandcamp). The

series opens the door on archives generated close to a

source of consistently remarkable music and Takagi’s


quartet may be one of the best releases yet.