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Toshiko Akiyoshi

As an arranger, Toshiko Akiyoshi (influenced originally by Gil Evans and Thad Jones) continues to be particularly notable for incorporating components of traditional Japan music into her otherwise bop-ish graphs. A solid (and underrated) pianist in the Bud Powell custom, Akiyoshi was created in China but transferred to Japan in 1946. She performed locally (Sadao Watanabe was among her sidemen) and, after getting noticed and inspired by Oscar Peterson, examined at Berklee during 1956-1959. Wedded for a while to altoist Charlie Mariano, she co-led the Toshiko Mariano Quartet in the first ’60s. After dealing with Charles Mingus in 1962 (including taking part in his ill-fated City Hall Concert), Toshiko came back to Japan for 3 years. Back in NY by 1965, she do a radio series and produced a quartet with her second hubby, Lew Tabackin, in 1970. After shifting to LA in 1972, Toshiko Akiyoshi come up with her spectacular big music group which presented such good soloists as Bobby Shew, Gary Foster, and Tabackin. They documented several significant albums before Akiyoshi determined, in 1981, to go to NY. Since their relocation, Akiyoshi and Tabackin possess both been quite energetic although her re-formed big music group has in fact received less promotion than it do in L.A. She rates among the best jazz arrangers of days gone by several decades.

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