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Otomo Yoshihide performs at Soejima Night No. 2 in Tokyo

Otomo Yoshihide plays a guitar once owned by Masayuki Takayanagi, plus 8mm film footage of Takayanagi live screened

Otomo Yoshihide will perform a special solo guitar set at the Ueno Store House venue in Tokyo this month, using the late Japanese free jazz guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi’s old instrument. A new film by Tokyo director Makino Takashi, incorporating 8mm footage of Takayanagi live in Hokkaido in 1984, will also screen at the event. The 8mm footage was shot by jazz critic Teruto Soejima, who died in July 2014. Along with Japanese free jazz pioneers Takayanagi, Masahiko Togashi and Masahiko Satoh, Soejima had helped found Tokyo’s first dedicated free jazz venue, the New Jazz Hall. Soejima Night No 2 takes place on 7 July, more details here.

In other Otomo-related news: a new album, Otomo Yoshihide, Guitar Solo 2015: Left, has just been released by Doubtmusic. Recorded in January this year, it’s a six track collection of solo guitar pieces performed by Otomo on Takayanagi's Gibson ES 175 guitar. As he used to work for Takayanagi until the pair fell out during the latter’s 1984 tour of Hokkaido, the chance to play his ex-boss’s instrument was emotionally significant for Otomo. He was given the guitar after Soejima’s funeral. “During his life Soejima-san had always been concerned about my ungracious leave-taking from Takayanagi-san,” says Otomo in the album’s sleevenotes. He also remarks, “[Takayanagi’s] instrument was used in the creation of so many works that I love.” The record includes Otomo’s readings of Takayanagi’s free guitar interpretations of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” and Charlie Haden’s “Song For Che”, among others.