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".
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".
Heavy electric piano from Masabumi Kikuchi – played here on two side-long tracks that really stretch out! The album's a live one, and features Kikuchi working with a sextet – a great lineup that features soprano sax, bass, and drums – plus some added organ and keyboards next to Masabumi's own keyboards – especially nice on one track that also features piano! There's a sensitivity to these tunes that's wonderful – a hint at the straighter Japanese trio mode that would dominate later in the 70s, but played with some of the best boldness that scene was bringing to its work at the start of the decade. Titles are both originals – "Yellow Carcass In The Blue" and "Dancing Mist" – both with a sound as evocative as their titles!
Masabumi Kikuchi plays some really great electric piano here – often using the album with loud, bold tones that lie somewhere between Joe Zawinul's work with Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis! The album's an extremely sweet electric side from the Japanese keyboardist – and it also features great work on reeds from Kosuke Mine, who plays both alto and soprano sax on the set – the latter with a wonderfully soulful, lyrical tone. Other players include Motohiko Hino on drums and Hideo Ichikawa on additional electric piano and organ – and titles include "Dancing Mist", "Thanatos", "Yellow Carcass In The Sun", "EJ", "My Companion", and "Puzzle Ring".
A key example of why the Japanese scene was so great at the start of the 70s – really mindblowing work from keyboardist Masabumi Kikuchi, and every bit as wonderful as some of our favorite American sides from the time! Kikuchi acoustic piano with a warmly soulful sensitivity – alongside the Fender Rhodes of Masahiro Kikuchi, who has a hard-edged sound that almost takes off from Joe Zawinul's use of the instrument, then soars into even mightier territory. The style is somewhat loose at times, but never too free – and the group here is a sextet that also includes amazing alto from Kosuke Mine – an excellent player who's never gotten his due on this side of the Pacific. Titles include "Love Token", "Tenacious Prayer Forever", "Roaming In Darkness", "Young Bloods", and "Piece To Peace".
An excellent mid 70s Japanese fusion set, led by the Gil Evans protege Masabumi Kikuchi – with a very similar group to the one on his awesome Susto LP! The vibe isn't quite as funky on this outing – in fact it's a bit more reminiscent of Miles' spacey electric explorations – though there are some pretty hard groovin' moments should definitely appeal to fans of funky fusion. Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman play some nice coloristic lines on reeds, and Terumasa Hino is in fine form on trumpet. The rest of the group is rounded out by Reggie Lucas on guitar playing some hard choppy accompaniment to Kikuchi's synths and electric piano, Mtume on percussion, Al Foster on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass. We're especially keen on the dark and heavy "Auroral Flare", the spacious "Pacific Hushes" which opens with a beautiful line played by Hino and the set's closer "Alone".