Masahiko Togashi Quintet
Speed & Space: The Concept of Space in Music
Label: Cinedelic Records (Italy)
Catalog: CNLP 064LP
Reissue, originally released in 1969. Recorded in November 1969 at Teichiku Kaikan Studio, Tokyo, Speed & Space: The Concept of Space in Music is one of those landmark works in which Masahiko Togashi is accompanied by talented musicians who possess a unique style and innovative approach. The album is an exploration of Togashi's notion of the "Time Law" and can be seen as a study of how texture, rhythm, and differing rates of change effect our perception of the passage of time in music. Sounding quite obscure and contemplative, the brief introductory theme signed as "Presage" prepares the listener for powerful and scathing free jazz. In a pace of increasing intensity, "Panorama" remits you to the liberating ways of an absorbing percussion where the more muscular interventions are interspersed with moments of enormous sensitivity. Grounded by Togashi's varied percussion, the disconcerting piano of Masahiko Sato and the vigorous bass of Yoshio Ikeda mark the guidelines of this long abstract exercise. An energetic improvisation, this theme of nearly 15 minutes flows into a grand finale with the involvement of all the musicians. "Expectation" closes the A side in a short but intense reverie of percussion, bass, and flute, guided by an improvisation free of harmonic prejudices.
At the piano (and gong), Masahiko Sato assumes a mediation function, granting some harmony traits to the, almost always, abstract and corrosive concepts of this collective. Bassist Yoshio Ikeda (recorded with trumpeter Terumasa Hino and pianist Aki Takase) imprints a decisive mark to the robust rhythm-section as to the overall sound of this date. Mototeru Takagi helps impart a tonal diversity and a colorful exoticism through his forays into the tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute. Of sharp forms dominated by technique and irreverence, side B continues with the title track, divided in two distinct but equally penetrating parts. With a depth marked by Togashi's percussion, "Speed & Space # 1" unfolds on a fast tune over 11 minutes of a harsh and incisive improvisation. The interaction of an irreverent rhythm section finds its complement in the disturbing screams of a delirious saxophone. Shorter, the second part gives voice to a minimalist concept in which the central role of Togashi finds an interesting matching in Masahiko Sato's piano as well in the saxophone and flute of Mototeru Takagi. Fully licensed and remastered from the original tapes. Includes OBI and insert.