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ALBUM REVIEWS

Masabumi Kikuchi: Black Orpheus

Read "Black Orpheus" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Black Orpheus, the solo piano CD from Japanese-born pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, may be the starkest, loneliest music in the world. Masabumi Kikuchi (1939-2015) was a versatile, if ultimately idiosyncratic artist. Early in his career he worked with a panoply of mainstream music makers, everyone from drummer Elvin Jones, to producer arranger Gil Evans, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and pianist/composer Mal Waldron. But he proved--from 1990 on--too individualistic, a musician with no technique (or so he said), who never ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Masabumi Kikuchi / Ben Street / Thomas Morgan / Kresten Osgood

Read "Masabumi Kikuchi / Ben Street / Thomas Morgan / Kresten Osgood" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

The German poet, philosopher and literary critic Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1829) had an affinity for the fragment as an art form and in his Athenaeumsfragment 206, he wrote about it, saying that: “[a] fragment, like a small work of art, has to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world and be complete in itself like a hedgehog." Like a true Romantic poet, Schlegel saw the unique potential of the fragment as something that could point ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Masabumi Kikuchi Trio: Sunrise

Read "Sunrise" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Masabumi Kikuchi recorded a session with the late trumpeter Miles Davis in 1978 that was never released. Had it been, the Japanese musician could perhaps have been slung by Davis' Jovian presence/influence to greater fame. As it is, Kikuchi has maintained a career as an iconoclastic artist, collaborating with some of the best jazz players. His musical tributes to Edith Piaf and Kurt Weill with the Tethered Moon trio in the 1990s--with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian--may ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Masabumi Kikuchi Trio: Sunrise

Read "Sunrise" reviewed by John Kelman

With a surprising number of recordings coming out that represent some of drummer Paul Motian's final work before passing unexpectedly in the fall of 2011, few have created as deeply personal a tribute as the liner notes to Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi's Sunrise. “Suddenly Paul was gone. He left without warning," Kikuchi writes, as he recounts his first meeting with Motian, the time they shared together in the Tethered Moon trio--which, with bassist Gary Peacock, released three albums between 1993 ...


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