Masabumi Kikuchi
Hanamichi: The Final Studio Recording
Red Hook, 2021


May 11, 2021

Hanamichi: The Final Studio Recording is Kikuchi‘s latest studio album, released posthumously by Red Hook.

Born in Tokyo in 1939 and died in 2015 in New York, Masabumi Kikuchi was one of the best known and most appreciated Japanese pianists and composers of his generation. He collaborated with Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Mal Waldron, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, among others, and was known for his eclectic style that ranged from avant-garde jazz to fusion.

 

 

 

Hanamichi: The Final Studio Recording collects the last studio recording made by Kikuchi before his death, in December 2013, and is a wonderful artistic testament. The record collects three standards (including the famous “Summertime” and the two versions of “My Favorite Things”), an improvisation and a Kikuchi song already recorded in other albums (“Little Abi”).

The record is particularly fascinating: the use of spaces and silences become a fundamental element of the performances (the introduction of “Summertime” is emblematic), but some tracks are nervous and dissonant (the first version of “My Favorite Things”).

A touching, personal album that creates magical and fascinating sound worlds. An exit worthy of Kikuchi and his career: after all, in the Kabuki theater the Hanamichi it is precisely that added section of the stage that serves as the entry and exit of the characters. So long, Masabumi.
(EM)

 

 

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Masabumi Kikuchi  Hanamichi: The Final Studio Recording  Red Hook 2021 © Jazzespresso 2021

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