Label: East Wind - EW-7001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1974
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded July 3, 1974 at Victor Studio, Tokyo
Engineer – Suenori Fukui
Liner Notes – Hisamitsu Noguchi
Mastered By – Stan Ricker
Photography By [Cover] – Hiroshi Satoh
Photography By [Liner] – Toshinari Koinuma, Yukio Ichikawa
Producer – Masaharu Honjoh
A - East Wind ................................. 20:09
B - Green Dance ............................ 23:56
Masabumi Kikuchi – piano
Kohsuke Mine – tenor saxophone
Terumasa Hino – trumpet
Juni Booth – bass
Eric Gravatt – drums, percussion
This is an acoustic, spiritual jazz set from 1974 that features five great players on two side-long pieces!The players are Masabumi Kikuchi-piano, Terumasa Hino-trumpet, Kohsuke Mine-tenor sax, Juni Booth-double bass and Eric Gravatt-drums. Great music and great sound as well. This is the last 70s album by Masabumi that was an all acoustic work.
Born 1939 in Tokyo, pianist Masabumi Kikuchi played with Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins while still a teenager, and made his recording debut in the early 1960s with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Charlie Mariano. In the 1970s he collaborated with Gil Evans and Elvin Jones and led his own groups, in both acoustic and electric modes, variously drawing influence from Miles Davis and Stockhausen, from Duke Ellington and Ligeti and Takemitsu. Kikuchi was amongst a small group of musicians with whom Miles Davis would regularly confer in his post-“Agharta” retirement period, and recorded a still-unissued session with Miles in 1978. Several of Kikuchi’s 1980s recordings were devoted to the synthesizer, but by the 1990s he was again emphasizing acoustic piano, founding the group Tethered Moon with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, a unit whose recorded repertoire often examined a particular composer’s or interpreter’s works: the discography includes tributes to Kurt Weill, Edith Piaf, Jimi Hendrix and Puccini. But as Kikuchi recently explained to film-maker Thomas Haley (in the documentary “Out of Bounds”) those days are gone: “I don’t want to be part of someone else’s history … and I’m more free now, because I started believing in myself.” Accordingly, the first ECM album by the veteran Japanese improviser finds him headed into new territory. “Lately”, he says, “when I sit down at the piano I do not prepare what I will play nor do I think about how to play, and I believe I found the way of putting out something new, and I guess I could call it my own”...
A brilliant set from Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – two long, leaping, loping tracks that almost feel like some of McCoy Tyner's best work! Kikuchi plays acoustic piano, and the group's a quartet with Terumasu Hino on trumpet, Koshuke Mine on tenor, Eric Gravatt on drums, and Juni Booth playing some really wonderful bass. Booth's bass leads the tracks with a soulful quality that you don't always hear on Kikuchi's other work – really giving the record a strongly-rooted vibe, while the musicians are still free to really open up and explore. The album's tracks, "East Wind" and "Green Dance", are both excellent examples of the soulful freedoms allowed in the Japanese scene of the 70s – side-long numbers that are different both from contemporary performances on both the US and European scenes of the period.
If you find it, buy this album!