Experimental free jazz guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi’s 1975 album as New Direction Unit gets reissue from Blank Forms

Celebrated jazz guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi’s legendary 1975 noise record with his group New Direction Unit, titled April is the cruellest month, is being issued outside of Japan for the first time. It arrives June 7 from the free minds at Blank Forms.

April is the cruellest month features some of the guitarist’s most tempestuous and bellicose sounds, liberated by his embrace of freeform music and recorded during an era of work he called “non-section music.” Once contracted for release on the pioneering free jazz label ESP-Disk before its termination, the record didn’t see initial release until a 1991 Japan-exclusive issue. The album also features Kenji Mori on alto sax, flute, and bass clarinet, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and cello, and Hiroshi Yamazaki on percussion. (I’m now fully qualified to be on-air NPR talent).

Pre-order April is the cruellest month at Blank Forms’s store, and check out an excerpt from the blistering “My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart” below, alongside the full tracklisting.

April is the cruellest month back cover

April is the cruellest month tracklisting:

01. We Have Existed
02. What Have We Given?
03. My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart

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