Tethered Moon (Masabumi Kikuchi, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian) – Play Kurt Weill (1995)

FrontCover1Tethered Moon Play Kurt Weill is an album by the group Tethered Moon, comprising pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian, recorded in late 1994 and released on the JMT label. The album features the groups interpretation of Kurt Weill’s compositions. (by wikipedia)

Although well known in his native Japan, pianist Masamui “Poo” Kikuchi has not received much attention in America. Kikuchi deserves accolades for not settling for another standard piano trio workout with the usual flashy runs and melody-solo-melody format. Instead, he really delves into the pieces, offering probing voicings and careful pacing, varying moods, timing, and tempo. His treatment of “Misterioso” approximates the quirky embellishments and off-center comping and chording Monk injected into the original, while other numbers have genuine movements rather than being continuous linear presentations.


Bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian intersect and work alongside Kikuchi, sometimes playing solo but most often meshing and establishing real dialogues rather than individual contrasts. (by Ron Wynn)

Paul Motian and Gary Peacock have always preferred to be equal partners rather than “rhythm section” in piano trios, and Tethered Moon continues the tradition. Masabumi Kikuchi may not be a well-known pianist, but he is absolutely worthy of his peerless partners, and of course Kurt Weill’s melancholy songs. If you like your jazz more abstract but still introspective rather than aggressive, you’ll like this. (by Dave Stagner)


Masabumi Kikuchi (piano)
Paul Motian (drums)
Gary Peacock (bass)

01. Alabama Song 9.36
02. Barbara Song 6.42
03. Moritat 11.19
04. September Song 8.40
05. It Never Was You 1.52
06. Trouble Man 5.03
07. Speak Low 6.56
08. The Bilbao Song 4.40
09. My Ship 5.27

Music composed by Kurt Weill