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There were few groups on the planet as exciting as the Yosuke Yamashita Trio at its incandescent peak. Led by a pianist whose percussive attack could rival Cecil Taylor, the band gained instant notoriety when it debuted at Tokyo’s Pit Inn in 1969.

As Japanese musicians embraced the liberating potential of free jazz, nobody did it faster or harder. When the group made its European debut in 1974, the local press dubbed its relentless musical assault, “kamikaze jazz.”

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