All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

442

Terumasa Hino & Masabumi Kikuchi: Edges & Counter Current

Andrey Henkin By
Published:
Sign in to view read count








Terumasa Hino/Masabumi Kikuchi
Edges
Sony Japan
2008


Terumasa Hino/Masabumi Kikuchi Quintet
Counter Current
Sony Japan
2008




The similarities between two new releases by Japanese legends Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi are obvious. Both were recorded within the same two weeks at the same studio. Both share broadly painted abstract covers on their appealing LP-style gatefold sleeves. Both are mostly originals by the pair, including two versions of two pieces book ending each disc. Even the aesthetics, despite the first being a duet and the other a quintet, have something in common. Palpably companion pieces, for all their similarities, these are distinct albums. But one thing they both contain is possibly the most surprising. Though continuing a partnership begun decades ago, the albums don't demonstrate an expected easy comfort; that is their strength.

Edges is an uncommon duet between an unusual pairing. Piano and trumpet inhabit a similar tonal range so any counterpoint is of a subtler breed. The eight pieces, including the two takes of the title track that begin and end the album, are aural representations of the album artwork: painted in bold expressionistic strokes. What is fascinating though is the tangible sense of tension. When one listens to a duet, breezy dialogue or spirited agreements are usually the expectation. Hino and Kikuchi are obviously old friends but ones who seem to have little in common. When their careers began, they were closer in spirit; the intervening years have separated them. They are like adults who are friends because they grew up next to each other. This turns Edges into a session whose appeal is in its agitation. Each author has his pieces dominated by the other musician and the solo pieces are almost exhalations. "I Fall In Love Too Easily," the album's only standard, exemplifies this ironic relationship.

Counter Current brings the pair together with a multi-generational trio to explore another set of originals, this time almost exclusively by Kikuchi. The effect is that of strangers on a long train ride trying to find out what they have in common but amiably engaging in disagreements along the way. Hino is more muted, allowing more room for the cultured musings of Michael Attias' alto (who also contributes one piece). And Kikuchi forms part of a remarkably porous rhythm section, Thomas Morgan's Charlie Haden-esque bass gently overlaying Paul Motian's drums, like a bullfrog jumping languidly from lily pad to lily pad on a still pond. Though the instrumentation is typically modern, the feeling is not overly cerebral. Counter Current, like Edges, is an apt name for this beguiling document.


Tracks and Personnel

Edges

Tracks: Edges (ver. 1); Is It?; Alone, Alone And Alone; Can't Describe; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Dad, I Miss You (trumpet solo); My Kinda Yesterday (piano solo); Edges (ver. 2).

Personnel: Terumasa Hino: trumpet; Masabumi Kikuchi: piano.

Counter Current

Tracks: J. L. L. (ver. 1); Sky Over Rain Forest; Blue in Yellow (for Mark Rothko); Misery on the Hudson; Making the Elephant Run (ver. 1); Making the Elephant Run (ver. 2); J. L. L. (ver. 1).

Personnel: Terumasa Hino: trumpet; Masabumi Kikuchi: piano; Michael Attias: alto sax; Thomas Morgan; bass; Paul Motian: drums.


Shop For Jazz

Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Live
Live

2006
buy
[no cover]
Dragon
Century Records
2005
buy
[no cover]
Here We Go Again
Century Records
2003
buy
[no cover]
Kimiko
Century Records
2001
buy
[no cover]
Live In Warsaw
Century Records
1991
buy
[no cover]
Give My Heart A Break
Century Records
1989
buy
Enrico Rava Enrico Rava
trumpet
Tom Harrell Tom Harrell
trumpet
Bennie Maupin Bennie Maupin
clarinet
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Kenny Wheeler Kenny Wheeler
trumpet
Woody Shaw Woody Shaw
trumpet
Sadao Watanabe Sadao Watanabe
sax, alto

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.