Friday, April 29, 2016

JAPAN Masabumi Kikuchi -Black Orpheus (ECM 2016)

Masabumi Kikuchi: piano

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 toward 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.

All music by Masabumi Kikuchi except Manha de Carnaval Luiz Bonfa / Antonio Maria

Recorded Live October 26, 2012 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall