Stunning duo comprised of two of the most important musicians of the Japanese underground/avant-garde, Otomo Yoshihide in a duo with the great Japanese drummer, Hiroshi Yamazaki – who has Kaoru Abe among his extensive list of past collaborators, and was also a member of Masayuki Takayanagi’s pioneering New Directions group. This album is dedicated to Masayuki Takayanagi.
Otomo Yoshihide moves between free jazz, noise, improvisation, composition and the unclassifiable with a generosity that opens up the possibilities for expression in all of the constellations with which he's involved. He spent his teenage years in Fukushima, about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo. Influenced by his father, an engineer, Otomo began making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator. In junior high school, his hobby was making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders. This was his first experience creating music. Soon after entering high school he formed a band which played rock and jazz, with Otomo on guitar. It wasn't long, however, before he became a free jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Erick Dolphy and Derek Bailey; and hearing music, both on disk and at concerts, by Japanese free jazz artists. Especially influenced by alto sax player Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, Otomo decided to play free jazz.
Hiroshi Yamazaki (1940) is a Tokyo-born drummer who has played under several different names over the course of his career. He started out as a jazz drummer from 1959, performing with Hampton Hawes and the like. From the late 60s until the 80's, he was heavily involved with the work of Masayuki Takayanagi, including as a member of Takayanagi's pioneering New Directions group. Other notable collaborations include the DUO album with influential Japanese saxophonist, Kaoru Abe, alongside numerous perfomances spanning orthodox jazz to free improvisation. In recent years he has regularly performed with Otomo Yoshihide.