Nov 9, 2010

Hino-Kikuchi Quartet - Counter Current

barabara sounds sez:
Two of the finest jazzmen from Japan's golden age of modal/fusion/free exploration. And they're still laying it down. Unlike some of their contemporaries (Sadao W. springs to mind immediately), these guys still have plenty to say. This album was one of two they cut in 2007 — this one a quintet format; the other (Edges) a duo. Both are now hard to lay hands on even here, and can cost a pretty penny in the rest of the world.

Counter Current brings the pair together with a multi-generational trio to explore another set of originals, this time almost exclusively by Kikuchi. The effect is that of strangers on a long train ride trying to find out what they have in common but amiably engaging in disagreements along the way. Hino is more muted, allowing more room for the cultured musings of Michael Attias' alto (who also contributes one piece). And Kikuchi forms part of a remarkably porous rhythm section, Thomas Morgan's Charlie Haden-esque bass gently overlaying Paul Motian's drums, like a bullfrog jumping languidly from lily pad to lily pad on a still pond. Though the instrumentation is typically modern, the feeling is not overly cerebral. Counter Current, like Edges, is an apt name for this beguiling document.


Tracks:

J.L.L. (ver.1); Sky Over Rain Forest; Blue in Yellow (for Mark Rothko); Misery on the Hudson; Making the Elephant Run (ver. 1); Making the Elephant Run (ver. 2); J.L.L. (ver.2).


Personnel:

Terumasa Hino: trumpet; Masabumi Kikuchi: piano; Michael Attias: alto sax; Thomas Morgan; bass; Paul Motian: drums.


For earlier work by these two guys, head over to the inestimable Orgy in Rhythm, where you will find Bacoso has posted a good number of their classic older albums.

And Katonah recently posted another, the brilliant Wishes, at his equally excellent Private Press.

Essential listening!


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thoughts, feelings, reactions, impressions, counter impressions, counter currents — all comments gratefully received...

http://www.mediafire.com/?rmgh884yv4k32pm

James A. Naismith said...

welcome back from hiatus

taro nombei said...

@ James A. Naismith

Thanks — that was pretty quick!

Frank said...

Thanks for the Hino-Kikuchi Quartet. I saw Hino several times in the early 80's with Liebman/Scofield et al, always brilliant. Then there was the embarrassing disco/fusion group he led in the late 80's (?) which I had the misfortune to hear. Ain't life complex?

taro nombei said...

@ Frank
I think there are very few musicians that don't have a few embarrassing skeletons in the their closet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this excellent album.
I love it !!!
It was a surprise this post.
Never heard before.
I'm so grateful.


Procrastinator Procrustes

dputydwg said...

thanks!

taro nombei said...

@ Procrastinator Procrustes

You're very welcome. You should check out their earlier collaborations too.

Michael Can't Sleep said...

Many thanks for this.
Never heard it before.

richard said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful music and info on your blog. Just catching up with all the posts now and some truly beautiful music here. with the demise of some of the smaller second hand jazz record shops comes the rise of some truly inspirational blogs. in years to come your site and others like it will have been responsible for igniting and reigniting a passion for jazz - more so than magazines and in tandem with the best radio shows. Thanks again.

taro nombei said...

@ everyone
thanks for all the comments... much appreciated!

@ richard
you said it. the sole aim is to keep the music out there, to share it, to turn each other on to good sounds.
but bottom line, you can't beat live music.
go support today's musicians too!!

katonah said...

Thanks for this one TN, Bacoso found a clean copy of Masabumi Kikuchi in concert and passed it on to me this week. Looking forward to this one.

taro nombei said...

@ katonah
Kikuchi live... excellent! Which one? Well, I guess we'll soon see :-)
That reminds me, you posted a classic Kikuchi with Hino and all just recently, didn't you. I need to link you in my post.
Cheers Katonah, thanks for dropping by.

katonah said...

It's the one with Dancing mist and yellow carcass in the blue on Philips. Keep up the great work here Taro, top blog!

taro nombei said...

cheers katonah!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this - I had no idea it existed! Kikuchi and drummer Paul Motian have worked together for a number of years, on and off, as part of the 'Tethered Moon' trio with bassist Gary Peacock.

taro nombei said...

@ anon
yes, I only know one of those tethered Moon albums, going to have to track some down. thanks for dropping by!

SlimStew said...

Thanks for the music!

SlimStew said...

thanks for this--I remember Morgan as a bassist in high school playing tremendous bebop on the bass. he's come a long way.

taro nombei said...

@ SlimStew
I've never seen Morgan in action. He certainly keeps up with the others on this album. Gonna have to post the other one soon...
cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

SlimStew said...

lost this-had to come back and get it again, thanks!