Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. A gem of a record from Japanese keyboardist Masabumi Kikuchi – one of those massive Japanese fusion classics that was partly recorded overseas, partly here in the US – with a sound that brings together all the best soulful aspects of both scenes! Kikuchi can create some really weird, wonderful sounds when he wants – but can also slide into a groove with the best of them – and, given the vintage of the record, may well be more inventive than Herbie Hancock ever was at this point in his career! The lineup's filled with great talents – trumpeter Terumasa Hino, reedman Steve Grossman, and guitarist James Mason – coming together wonderfully on titles that include "Sky Talk", "Madjap Express", "Alacalder", and "Sum Dum Fun".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. A great album of funky Japanese fusion – one of the few sets from the Japanese scene of the late 70s that got any sort of wider release in the US – and a treasure that we've loved for years! The set's got a really great sound – soulful and funky, but sharp too – in a lineup that features a variety of keyboards from Masabumi Kikuchi, plus work by Terumasa Hino on trumpet, Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman on saxes, and James Mason on guitar! The best cuts have a funky feel that's in the CTI/Kudu mode – perhaps mixed with a bit of Herbie Hancock keyboard jamming – and the album's a surprisingly lost funky gem in the Columbia catalog of the early 80s, with a much harder edge than some of the other work on the label at the time!
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. An aggressive bit of funky fusion – a set that matches the talents of Japanese trumpeter Shunzoh Ohno with some hip American grooves from Reggie Lucas on guitar, Cedric Lawson on keyboards, Don Pate on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums! The sound is very full-on – in a mid 70s Miles Davis electric mode, but with perhaps a bit more of a funk touch on the best cuts – almost a refinement of the groove that Miles hit in Japan, fusing the energy into some great tunes that really pack a sharp punch! Haynes' drums are surprisingly heavy at points – and titles include "You Dig That?", "But It's Not So", and "I Remember That It Happened".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Pianist Masabumi Kikuchi leads the set, but the group's a very equally-balanced trio that features wonderful work from James Genus on bass and Victor Jones on drums – both players who shape the sound every bit as strongly as the piano! In fact, if you were to hear the record without the cover, you might even think Genus is the leader at times – given the way his rich, deep lines begin some of the cuts – and give a grounding to the record that allows Kikuchi to create these little constellations in sound with his deft lines on the piano – archly modern, yet deeply soulful at the same time – and almost "sparked" into greater flames by Jones' drums. A really special sort of trio date – one that's way more than just the sum of its parts – on titles that include "Free Stroll", "Zig Zag", "Pain Killer", "Up Beat Blues", "20th Street Shuffle", and "Little Treat".
A document of a 2012 Japanese solo recital – not only the last in his homeland but the last anywhere – by idiosyncratic improviser Masabumi Kikuchi (1939-2015). One of the uncategorisable greats, Kikuchi occupied his own musical universe and in his final years was quietly and systematically severing his ties to jazz, drifting instead towards what he called ‘floating sound and harmonies’, introspective and poetic improvisations. Song forms still sometimes materialized. Kikuchi revisits “Little Abi”, a ballad for his daughter, which the pianist once recorded with Elvin Jones. And there is a surprising and very touching version of the wistfully yearning theme from the 1959 Brazilian film Black Orpheus.
Reissue with the latest remastering. A stunning follow-up to the first Tethered Moon album from the trio of Masabumu Kikuchi on piano, Gary Peacock on bass, and Paul Motian on drums – material recorded at the same time as the first record, but with a vibe that's sometimes slightly different! As before, the acoustic tones of Kikuchi ring out strongly – with those sharper, modern edges that he first brought to play on his key albums of the 70s – but there's also almost a looser quality to some tracks, as Peacock's bass works as a strongly subtle force, as does Motian's drums – both with those special sound-shaping qualities that have made them such unique musicians. Titles include a take on Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround", plus "Little Abi", "Gaia", "True You", and "Conception Vessel".
Reissue with the latest remastering. A great later date from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – a player we love for his groundbreaking work in the 70s, and who still sounds equally great here in the company of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian! Kikuchi's got a sharp tone that really grabs our ears right away – an attack that's maybe a bit different than the sort of player you might normally hear alongside Peacock or Motian – recorded with a brilliant sound that brings all his highlights into focus, while still making giving the drums and bass equal space in the spotlight. Tracks are longish, and titles include great Peacock originals "PS", "Moor", and "Moniker" – plus Kikuchi's "Tethered Moon".
Recorded April 16-17, 1991 ; Onkio Haus, Tokyo. Masahiko Togashi b. 22 March 1940, Tokyo, Japan. A child prodigy on violin and percussion, Togashi became a professional drummer when barely into his teens. He gained a solid reputation in his homeland, playing with Sadao Watanabe among others and also led his own small groups. At the end of the 60s injuries turned him away from playing drums to other percussion instruments and he extended his interest in writing music. He continued to lead bands, write, and collaborate with Japanese and visiting musicians, appearing with Masabumi Kikuchi and recording a 1981 duo session with Steve Lacy. Togashi’s technical expertise on a wide range of percussion instruments allows him to introduce into his performances telling effects that add intriguingly exotic undertones.
The latest DSD remaster. Features the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD2 format (compatible with standard CD players).A great album of funky Japanese fusion – one that features a variety of keyboards from Masabumi Kikuchi, plus work by Terumasa Hino on trumpet, Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman on saxes, and James Mason on guitar! The best cuts have a funky feel that's in the CTI/Kudu mode – perhaps mixed with a bit of Herbie Hancock keyboard jamming – and the album's a surprisingly lost funky gem in the Columbia catalog of the early 80s, with a much harder edge than some of the other work on the label at the time! Titles include "Circle/Line", "New Native", "Gumbo", and "City Snow".
One of the most soulful sessions we've ever heard from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – a brilliant quintet outing that features some really great work on tenor and soprano sax! Kikuchi's piano is usually enough to grab our attention, but the album's got a great added bonus in the presence of Kosuke Mine on soprano sax and Hideo Miyata on tenor – both players whose horns bring in some added sharpness to the date, and further underscore the spiritual elements in Kikuchi's music – almost with the same mix of reeds and driving rhythms you'd find in the post-Coltrane work of Elvin Jones. Titles include "Green Dance", "Bell", "Admire But Destest", "Gin Kai", and "Drizzling Rain".