Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Masabumi Kikuchi / Ornette Coleman

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Masabumi Kikuchi this week. Seeing him on piano at the Village Vanguard with Paul Motian truly expanded my conception of music and beauty. I put down some impressions of one such appearance here. After Motian's passing, I saw Masabumi play twice more, including a solo performance at the Motian memorial concert. It was a high point in a concert full of wonderful moments, an elegy as only Masabumi could conceive it, like a man groping his way through a dark forest, in search of his lost friend, their lost sound.


In my negligence in updating this blog, I let the passing of Ornette Coleman go unmentioned here. Here are some earlier pieces touching on the now-departed master/magus/maverick - an early effort on the occasion of his Jazz at Lincoln Center appearance and a brief review (near the end of this post) of Shirley Clarke's wonderful documentary. The two albums I put on after hearing of his death - Soapsuds, Soapsuds, an album of duos with Charlie Haden, and Of Human Feelings with Prime Time - reminded me of the incredible range of expression his career encompassed, although they were released only two years apart in the late '70s.

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