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Pianist Masabumi Kikuchi Dies at 75

Played with Sonny Rollins, Gil Evans, Paul Motian and others

Masabumi Kikuchi, Paul Motian tribute concert, NYC, 3-13.jpg
Masabumi Kikuchi

Pianist Masabumi Kikuchi died July 6 in New York at age 75, his daughter Abi Kikuchi has confirmed. The cause was subdural hematoma.

Born Oct. 19, 1939, in Tokyo, Kikuchi (known to musicians by his nickname Poo), played with Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins while still a teenager, and made his recording debut in the early 1960s with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Charlie Mariano. He also collaborated with Woody Herman, Helen Merrill, Mal Waldron, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Billy Harper and Hannibal Peterson.

In the 1970s he collaborated with Gil Evans and Elvin Jones and led his own groups. From 1997-2004 he released several albums in collaboration with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, for Winter & Winter and other labels. Kikuchi also released numerous albums as a leader, for such labels as Blue Note, Sony, East Wind and ECM, that being Sunrise, released in 2012.

Originally Published