Friday, November 18, 2011

Masahiko Togashi

Here's a very interesting drummer you don't hear much about- Masahiko Togashi. In the early 00's I heard a record he made with Don Cherry and Charlie Haden, and dug his very "drummy" style, but was unfortunately never able to find a copy to purchase.

Like some other non-American avant-garde players he leans more towards a "jazz percussion" type of approach- for lack of a better term- than the swinging, timekeeping-based American thing.  Certainly his sound was influenced by the fact that he was paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair in 1970 (he was able to resume playing 18 months later). In addition to Cherry, he also recorded and toured (I believe in Japan only) with Steve Lacy, Gary Peacock, Sadao Watanabe, Masabumi Kikuchi, and Mal Waldron. His physical condition deteriorated and he gave up drumming in 2002, and died in 2007.

More clips after the break:

From a recording as leader in 1977:

Early recording with Masabumi Kikuchi, where he seems to be working through Elvin's thing:

With Gary Peacock, probably recorded shortly before his accident:

And an earlier recording with Peacock:

A duo recording again with Kikuchi, playing Thelonious Monk's Misterioso:

And finally, the only video of an actual performance I could find:

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