Yōsuke Yamashita (山下 洋輔, Yamashita Yōsuke, born 26 February 1942) is a Japanese jazz pianist, composer and writer. He is praised by critics for his unique piano style, which is influenced by free jazz, modal jazz and soul jazz.
Yamashita first played piano professionally in 1959, at the age of 17, and attended the Kunitachi College of Music and studied classical composition from 1962 to 1967. In the early 1960s he "was part of a group, with Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi, that met at a jazz club called Ginparis (銀巴里) to play and discuss jazz every night".
Yamashita's first released recording was in 1963, and he became a pioneer of avant-garde and free jazz. In 1969, he formed the Yosuke Yamashita Trio. In 1974, the trio of Yamashita, Akira Sakata (alto sax) and Takeo Moriyama (drums) went on the first of a series of successful European tours, which helped spread beyond Japan Yamashita's and the trio's reputation as driving, fully committed free jazz musicians.
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