7 July 2015



Thad said...

Oh, man. Bad news. Poo-Sun was my introduction to Japanese jazz and music blogging in general. A great talent. Arigato, Poo.

Burningbluesoul said...

Sad, sad news. Thank you Kikuchi-san, for opening up so many inner worlds.

Gildas said...

Oh what a loss !
Much respect and admiration to one of the greatest great gr8 jazz artist ... Sad for his family and friends.

My favorite tracks :
Piece to Piece (1970, Re-confirmation 再確認そして発展 )
Drizzling Rain (1972 with Gil Evans)
La Mosca Esta Dormindo(1976 Wishes with Terumasa Hino, Reggie Lucas and Mtume !)
Thanatos (1979 Poo Sun )

My favorite LPs:
1978 But NOt For Me (check Puma 1&2)
1972 OST Hairpin Circus (A Short Story For Image), including Provincial and an amazing verqion of "Yellow Carcass In The Blue", originally played for the LP "1970 : In Concert "

Masabumi Kikuchi (菊地 雅章 Kikuchi Masabumi, born 19 October 1939) is a Japanese jazz pianist and composer born in Tokyo, Japan. Playing piano and rhodes with incredible sensitivity, Masabumi Kikuchi participates in Japan Jazz history along with Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino, Kosuke Mine, Hideo Hichikawa, Hozan Yamamoto...

He also worked with a variety of well known US jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Mal Waldron, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Azzedin Weston, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Billy Harper, Al Foster, Badal Roy and Hannibal Peterson.

-Full bio-
Born Oct.19, 1939, in Tokyo. Masabumi Kikuchi also known as ‘Poo’ started the piano lessons and music theory study. After graduating from Tokyo Art College High School, Kikuchi started his professional career leading his own trio. Right after his debut, he played in wide fields by joining Lionel Hampton’s Japan Tour, playing as a featured pianist for the movie “……” (directed by Masahiro Shinoda, script by Shuji Terayama, music by Toru Takemitsu) In 1966, together with Masahiko Togashi (ds), Kikuchi joined the recording of Sadao Watanabe’s “Jazz Bossa”. In 1967, he formed Hino-Kikuchi Quintet, which he led with a trumpeter Terumasa Hino. “Hino-Kikuchi Quintet”, recorded the same year, became a best-seller album. In the meanwhile, Kikuchi had won a scholarship by winning a contest for overseas musicians by downbeat magazine to enroll at Berklee College of Music, and the quintet was performance was interrupted in September the following year. Before going to Berkley, Kikuchi sat in Sonny Rollins’ Japan Tour. At Berkley, he studied composition from William Maloof, music and arrangement from Herb Pomeloy. In 1969, after returning to Japan, he formed his own sextet with 2 pianos and 2 drums, recording “Re-confirmation and …” and “Poo-sun”. In 19** he joined the recording of Hozan Yamamoto(bamboo flute)’s “Silver World” (featuring Kikuchi,p and Gary Peacock, b) as a pianist and composer-arranger. Kikuchi’s collaboration with Peacock started about this time.

Gildas said...

Full bio part II

1971~1975 The year 1971 found Kikuchi with a lot more chances to perform with the artists of the States such as Mal Waldron (joining his Japan tour and recordings), Joe Henderson (touring Japan and live recordings). Following 1972, Kiukchi went to the States to join Elvin Jones, touring New Port Jazz Festival, Toronto and many other places in EJ’s group. Also recorded “Hollow Out” with Elvin Jones with L.V.Gelder. After coming back to Japan, he recorded the sound track album for the movie “Hairpin Circus”, which also made a hit album. In July that year, he held a recital inviting Gil Evans for the arrangement (+ Marvin Peterson;trumpet, Billy Harper; tenor saxophone) and recorded “Masabumi Kikuchi with Gil Evans”. This was the very start of the musical bondage of Kikuchi & Evans. Also joined the Japan Tour of Jonny Hartman. In 1973, Kikuchi finally moved his base to New York and re-joined Elvin Jones Group, touring the States and South America. In 1974, Kikuchi joined Sonny Rollins’ concert in Boston. In 1975, with Terumasa Hino, who also moved to N.Y. after him, Kikuchi formed a new group Kochi, touring Japan.
1976~1980 In 1976, Kochi recorded their album “Wishes” with Steve Grossman, Al Foster et al. In 1977 Kikuchi joined Gil Evans Orchestra and joined the tour and recording “Live at the Royal Festival Hall” England. For the following three yearsKikuchi played in Gil Evans Orch. Furthermore, in 1978, with the recommendations by Al Foster and Gil Evans, Kikuchi joined Miles Davis group, in which he rehearsed for one year with Miles, Al Foster, Sam Morrison, T.M.Stevens, Jack De Johnette. (The recording has yet to be released!) In 1980, Kikuchi acted not only as a keyboardist but a producer for the recording of “Gil Evans, Listen to The Silence: Live at the Public Theater (N.Y.80)” Also, the same year, Kikuchi started the rehearsal and studio live recording sessions in Sound Idea Studio with more than 10 musicians.
1981~1988 In 1981 and 1982, the recordings of the above sessions were released world wide under the titles, “SUSTO”, “One Way Traveler”, highly acclaimed as decisive works of 1980s. These titles were extraordinary texture of poly-rhythm patterns and many other electric experimental jazz funk sound, featuring Terumasa Hino (cornet), Dave Liebman (soprano saxophone and flute), Steve Grossman (soprano & tenor saxophone), Victor Jones(ds), Richie Morales (ds), Ayib Dien(perc), Ayrto(perc), Hassan Jenkins (g), Butch Campbell (g), William ‘Spaceman’ Patterson (g), and manyothers. (Accorging to Kikuchi himself, there are two more unreleased tracks in one of which Gil Evans arranged, adding Tuba and other instruments to the session!) After the release of the two titles, Kikuchi switched to synthesizer solo project, in which he did real-time synthesizer performance using a number of keyboards in his loft studio. The recording lasted for the following five years, and finally led to the release of 6 CD series and one more synthesizer solo CD, 2 Laser Discs (one of which featured the performance of a Japanese model, Sayoko Yamaguchi + dance performance of Sankai-juku).

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