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Masabumi Kikuchi (菊地 雅章, Kikuchi Masabumi, 19 October 1939 – 6 July 2015) was a Japanese jazz pianist and composer known for his eclectic music that ranges from vanguard classical to fusion and digital music. He worked with a large number of diverse musicians, including Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Mal Waldron, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian, Billy Harper and Hannibal Peterson.[1]

Masabumi Kikuchi
Background information
Birth nameMasabumi Kikuchi
Also known asPoo Sun
Born19 October 1939
Tokyo, Japan
Died6 July 2015(2015-07-06) (aged 75)
Manhasset, New York, United States
Associated actsLionel Hampton
Sonny Rollins
Woody Herman
Mal Waldron
WebsiteOfficial Site (Japanese)
Fan Site

Masabumi Kikuchi was born in Tokyo in 1939, and lived his early life in World War II and post-war Japan. He studied music at the Tokyo Art College High School. After graduating, he joined Lionel Hampton's Japanese touring band. He died from a subdural hematoma on 6 July 2015 at a hospital in Manhasset, New York. At the time of his death, he lived in Manhattan, New York City.[2]



As leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1969 Matrix Victor With Tetsuro Fushimi (trumpet), Hideyuki Kikuchi (alto sax), Akio Nishimura (tenor sax), Hironori Takiya (bass), Takahiro Suzuki (drums) as Victor Modern Jazz Sextet
1970 Poo-Sun Philips With Kosuke Mine (soprano sax, alto sax), Hideo Ichikawa (electric piano, organ), Yoshio Ikeda (bass), Motohiko Hino and Hiroshi Murakami (drums), Keiji Kishida (percussion)
1974 East Wind East Wind With Terumasa Hino (trumpet), Kosuke Mine (tenor sax), Juini Booth (bass), Eric Gravatt (drums)
1978 But Not for Me Flying Disk With Gary Peacock (bass, percussion), Al Foster (drums, percussion), Badal Roy (tabla), Alyrio Lima (percussion), Azzedin Weston (percussion)
1980–81 Susto CBS/Sony With Terumasa Hino (cornet), Steve Grossman (soprano sax, tenor sax), Dave Liebman (soprano sax, tenor sax, flute), Richie Morales and Victor "Yahya" Jones (drums), Hassan Jenkins(bass), James Mason, Butch Campbell, Marlon Graves, Barry Finnerty and Billy Paterson (guitar), Alyrio Lima, Aiyb Dieng and Airto Moreira (percussion), Sam Morrison (soprano sax), Ed Walsh (synth programming)
1980–81 One-Way Traveller CBS/Sony With Terumasa Hino (cornet), Steve Grossman (soprano sax, tenor sax), Richie Morales and Victor "Yahya" Jones (drums), Hassan Jenkins(bass), James Mason, Butch Campbell, Marlon Graves, Gass Farkon, Billy Paterson and Ronald Drayton (guitar), Alyrio Lima, Aiyb Dieng and Airto Moreira (percussion), Sam Morrison (soprano sax)
1986-89 Aurora transheart, fontec Solo synthesizer
1989 Attached transheart Solo piano
1989–90 Dreamachine transheart, Pioneer With Bernie Worrell (synthesizer), Bootsy Collins (space-bass), Bill Laswell (bass), Nicky Skopelitis (guitar), Aiyb Dieng (percussion)
-1990 AAOBB Tokuma Japan Communications
1992-93 Feel You Paddle Wheel Trio, with James Genus (bass), Victor Jones (drums)[3]
1994 After Hours Verve Solo piano
1994 After Hours 2 PJL Solo piano
1996 Raw Material #1 Alfa With Toshiyuki Goto, DJ Katsuya and DJ Hiro (mixing), Mike Barry (guitar), Scott Wozniak (keyboard), Aiyb Dieng (percussion), Papa Jube, Veronica White, Bongo Gaston and Jean Baaptiste (vocals), David Dyson (bass), William "Space Man" Paterson (guitar), Darryl Foster (tenor sax)
2000? Melancholy Gil Universal
2001? Slash Trio 3d
2002? Slash Trio Vol. 2 3d
2009 Sunrise ECM Trio, with Thomas Morgan (bass), Paul Motian (drums)[4]
2012 Black Orpheus ECM Solo piano; in concert[5]

As co-leaderEdit

With Kochi (Ensemble with Al Foster, Anthony Jackson, Dave Liebman, James Mtume, Reggie Lucas, Steve Grossman and Terumasa Hino)

As Tethered Moon (Trio with Paul Motian and Gary Peacock)

As sidemanEdit

With Pee Wee Ellis

With Gil Evans

With Joe Henderson

  • Joe Henderson and Kikuchi, Hino in Concert (Rec. 1971, Fontana, 1974)

With Terumasa Hino

With Helen Merrill

With Paul Motian

With Mal Waldron

Legacy in New York State Property LawEdit

In the late 1970s, Kikuchi lived in New York City and rented a loft apartment on W. 20th Street. The large apartment, over 1700 square feet, was in a formerly commercial building adapted to artists spaces and mixed studio and apartment space. His space was filled with musical instruments and recording equipment; a creative work space as well as living space. In late 1977, a health spa equipment sales business moved into the floor above Kikuchi's studio. A series of damaging water leaks, noise, and eventually large scale building renovations began. These leaks and activities severely interfered with his work and daily living; Eventually Kikuchi sued his landlord asserting that the combined events and activities breached the covenant of quiet enjoyment of his apartment. Importantly, he also claimed that the construction work effectively excluded his use of a generous swath of the loft apartment, that is he was constructively evicted by the landlord's acts and failure to act (related to the upstairs tenant). Despite the massive disruptions, he continued living in the apartment during the legal dispute. At common law, an essential element of claiming constructive eviction is the tenant's moving out; The logic of the common law rule is rooted in proof: the landlord's actions must be so severe and materially impact the tenant that no one would continue to stay there under the circumstances.

The case was finally decided by the N.Y. Appellate Division in 1988. The Court's ruling in favor of Kikuchi established the notion of partial constructive eviction; that is, a partial exclusion from the quiet use and enjoyment of the property. The rule established in this case entitled a partially constructively evicted tenant to a pro rata rent reduction in proportion to the portion of the property they were unable to use. Importantly, the court held that leaving the premises was not required under this new concept. This rule has not been widely adopted in the United States and is a minority rule. The case, 528 N.Y.S.2d 554 (App. Div. 1988) is featured in contemporary property law case books to illustrate the concept of partial constructive eviction.


  1. ^ "Masabumi Kikuchi (1939-2015)". Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  2. ^ "Masabumi Kikuchi, Jazz Pianist Who Embraced Individualism, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. pp. 747–748. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
  4. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Masabumi Kikuchi: Sunrise". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  5. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Masabumi Kikuchi: Black Orpheus". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 February 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit