Masaya Yamaguchi

Masaya’s Contributions

04/01/09    Community Articles

A historic postcard from Charlie Parker

Many jazz historians made guess-works comments without their own research. I found Charlie Parker's handwritten postcard at Charles Colin's office. The postcard was postmarked on January 8, 1955. Bird died on March 12, 1955. It's written by Bird with his...

04/01/09    Community Articles

Multi-Tonic Changes in Masaya's Composition

I am not always using the multi-tonic changes; but I would use it when I feel I need it. My composition "Cybernetics" is a good example. It is a mixture of poly-structure of symmetrical scales and multi-tonic changes. Enjoy, Bros!

04/01/09    Community Articles

The Further Multitonic Change Probe

John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” is a notable example for the use of multitonic changes based on the notes of descending B (B-G-E♭/G-E♭-B) and ascending E♭ (E♭-G-B-E♭) augmented triads. We can develop his technique further in our own ways.

04/01/09    Community Articles

Four Aspects of “Coltrane Changes”

John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” brought about a harmonic revolution in the pursuit of multitonic changes based on the notes of descending B (B-G-E♭/G-E♭-B) and ascending E♭ (E♭-G-B-E♭) augmented triads.

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About Masaya Yamaguchi


Masaya Yamaguchi was born as a second son in Nagano at birth and bred in Tokyo, Japan. During the mid-80's, he started playing the guitar in rock/pop style (the ridiculous affair still comes to his mind now and then). Yamaguchi became interested in jazz through a TV commercial [of “Suntory White”] by Japan's renowned distiller, which misleadingly featured the jazz bassist, Ronald Carter.

Afterwards, Yamaguchi made his first purchase of a traditional 4-beat jazz album, which was John Coltrane's Giant Steps. At the age of 20, Yamaguchi changed his guitar style completely into jazz under the strong influence of John Coltrane--developing his own guitar style by the perfect 4th tuning (E, A, D, G, C, F- from the bottom to the top). He also began to explore the imaginative formation of musical scales while majoring in English at Meikai University, Chiba, Japan (B.A. 1994). At the age of 26, he decided to study in the jazz program at the City College of New York where his idol, Ron Carter, directed; however, Yamaguchi was distressed about power harassment from some faculty members. During his college years, he performed with Chico O'Farrill's son, Arturo O'Farrill in the Graduate Jazz Ensemble. Whereas he was tormented by tendonitis, he professionally began to transcribe the recorded performances by John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. In the end of 20th century, Yamaguchi became the first native Japanese who completed their Master program in jazz performance from the City College of New York (M.A. 1999).

Masaya Yamaguchi is the author of the books John Coltrane Plays “Coltrane Changes” (Hal Leonard Corporation), The Complete Thesaurus of Musical Scales, Symmetrical Scales for Jazz Improvisation and Pentatonicism in Jazz: Creative Aspects and Practice (Masaya Music Services; formerly from Charles Colin Music Publications) and he has contributed articles to professional journals including Down Beat magazine, etc. Because of the reference value of Yamaguchi's outstanding achievements, the editors of Marquis Who's Who have selected his biographical profile for inclusion in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. He lives in Manhattan, NYC.


Masaya Yamaguchi joined the JazzTimes community on Apr 01, 2009