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Masabumi (Kochi) Kikuchi
Kikuchi’s most successful album, both artistically and commercially, was his 1981 Columbia release SUSTO, which was recorded around the same time as his collaboration with his friend Terumasa Hino, on the latter’s groove LP DOUBLE RAINBOW. Similarly, Kikuchi ploughed a single-minded funkathon groove over four long tracks. Taking his lead from Miles Davis’ mid-70s funk band, Kikuchi invited Hino to play trumpet in addition to former Davis sax stars Dave Liebman and Steve Grossman. Kikuchi then reinforced his ensemble with an arsenal of guitarists and percussionists far beyond the point of overkill, but not with the same obliteration of ego that Miles achieved on such albums as GET UP WITH IT and AGARTHA. SUSTO’s high water mark is the fifteen-minute album closer ‘New Native’, which actually features four guitarists – Billy Patterson, Butch Campbell, Ronnie Drayton and producer James Mason – plus two drummers and two percussionists. Ironically, the only track to omit trumpeter Hino is a failure, ‘Gumbo’ being a lame lopsided reggae-disco piece of the style Can were want to lay on us around the time of SAW DELIGHT. However, as SUSTO was dedicated ‘to Alexander Calder, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Gyorgy Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Toru Takemitsu’, it’s pretty clear where Kikuchi’s pleasure centres truly lay.
Posted by choan, Sep 06, 2007