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Blank Forms: An Hour with Jojo

New York, 28.10.23

Masayuki “Jojo” Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a revolutionary Japanese guitarist, who first gained notoriety playing in cool jazz units until a fateful encounter with Chicago Transit Authority’s “Free Form Guitar” led him to abandon the field for a radically new sound. While a few records have been released outside of Japan (including Blank Forms Editions’s reissues of the lost ESP Disk April is the Cruelest Month and two live recordings with his ensemble Axis/Another Revolable Thing I & II) the vast majority have not washed up shoreside, including his legendary release on the Japanese jazz label Three Blind Mice. An hour with Jojo is not enough but we tried to squeeze as much in as we could, starting with Takayanagi’s incredible rendition of “Greensleeves” from the 1963 sessions at Ginparis Studio and finishing with two highlights from his ensemble New Direction unit featuring Kenji Mori.