TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI

Hard Bop / Progressive Big Band / Avant-Garde Jazz / Post Bop / Bossa Nova • China
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As an arranger, Toshiko Akiyoshi (influenced originally by Gil Evans and Thad Jones) has been particularly notable for incorporating elements of traditional Japanese music into her otherwise bop-ish charts. A strong (and underrated) pianist in the Bud Powell tradition, Akiyoshi was born in China but moved to Japan in 1946. She played locally (Sadao Watanabe was among her sidemen) and, after being noticed and encouraged by Oscar Peterson, studied at Berklee during 1956-1959. Married for a time to altoist Charlie Mariano, she co-led the Toshiko Mariano Quartet in the early '60s.

After working with Charles Mingus in 1962 (including participating in his ill-fated Town Hall Concert), Toshiko returned to Japan for three years. Back in New York by 1965, she did a radio series and formed a quartet with her second husband, Lew Tabackin, in 1970. After moving to Los Angeles in 1972, Toshiko Akiyoshi put together her very impressive
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Her Trio Her Quartet-Recordings from 1956-58Her Trio Her Quartet-Recordings from 1956-58
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TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Discography

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI albums / top albums

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko's Piano (aka Amazing Toshiko Akiyoshi) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko's Piano (aka Amazing Toshiko Akiyoshi)
Hard Bop 1954
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI George Wein Presents Toshiko album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
George Wein Presents Toshiko
Hard Bop 1956
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Her Trio, Her Quartet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Her Trio, Her Quartet
Hard Bop 1956
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI The Many Sides Of Toshiko album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Many Sides Of Toshiko
Hard Bop 1957
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI United Notions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
United Notions
Progressive Big Band 1958
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Long Yellow Road (aka Tosiko Akiyosi Recital) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Long Yellow Road (aka Tosiko Akiyosi Recital)
Hard Bop 1961
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Mariano Quartet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Mariano Quartet
Hard Bop 1961
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Miwaku No Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Miwaku No Jazz
Hard Bop 1963
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Mariano and her Big Band (aka Toshiko and Modern Jazz) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Mariano and her Big Band (aka Toshiko and Modern Jazz)
Progressive Big Band 1964
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Lullabies for You album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lullabies for You
Hard Bop 1965
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Meditation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meditation
Hard Bop 1971
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI The Personal Aspect In Jazz (aka Sumie) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Personal Aspect In Jazz (aka Sumie)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Kogun album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Kogun
Progressive Big Band 1974
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Kogun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Kogun
Progressive Big Band 1974
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Long Yellow Road album cover 5.00 | 3 ratings
Long Yellow Road
Progressive Big Band 1975
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Solo Piano album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Piano
Hard Bop 1975
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Dedications album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dedications
Hard Bop 1976
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Tales of a Courtesan (Oirantan) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Tales of a Courtesan (Oirantan)
Progressive Big Band 1976
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Insights album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Insights
Progressive Big Band 1976
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Dedications II (aka Dedications) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dedications II (aka Dedications)
Hard Bop 1977
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : March Of The Tadpoles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : March Of The Tadpoles
Progressive Big Band 1977
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko And Modern Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko And Modern Jazz
Progressive Big Band 1977
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Finesse album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Finesse
Post Bop 1978
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Plays Billy Strayhorn (aka A Tribute To Billy Strayhorn) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Plays Billy Strayhorn (aka A Tribute To Billy Strayhorn)
Hard Bop 1978
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Salted Ginko Nuts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Salted Ginko Nuts
Progressive Big Band 1979
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Plays Toshiko (aka Notorious Tourist From The East) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Plays Toshiko (aka Notorious Tourist From The East)
Hard Bop 1979
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Farewell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Farewell
Progressive Big Band 1980
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Just Be Bop album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Be Bop
Hard Bop 1980
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Tuttie Flutie album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tuttie Flutie
Hard Bop 1981
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band ‎: Tanuki's Night Out (aka From Toshiko With Love) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band ‎: Tanuki's Night Out (aka From Toshiko With Love)
Progressive Big Band 1981
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : European Memoirs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : European Memoirs
Progressive Big Band 1982
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio
Hard Bop 1983
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra Featuring Lew Tabackin: Ten Gallon Shuffle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra Featuring Lew Tabackin: Ten Gallon Shuffle
Progressive Big Band 1984
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Time Stream album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time Stream
Hard Bop 1985
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra Featuring Lew Tabackin and Frank Wess ‎: Wishing Peace From 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra Featuring Lew Tabackin and Frank Wess ‎: Wishing Peace From "Liberty Suite"
Progressive Big Band 1986
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Interlude album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Interlude
Hard Bop 1987
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Four Seasons album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Four Seasons
Hard Bop 1990
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Remembering Bud : Cleopatra's Dream album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Remembering Bud : Cleopatra's Dream
Hard Bop 1990
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Chic Lady album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chic Lady
Hard Bop 1991
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Dig album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dig
Hard Bop 1993
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Desert Lady Fantasy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Desert Lady Fantasy
Progressive Big Band 1994
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI With Brazilian Friends - 0.00 | 0 ratings
With Brazilian Friends - "Yes, I Have No 4Beat Today"
Bossa Nova 1995
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Time Stream: Toshiko Plays Toshiko album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time Stream: Toshiko Plays Toshiko
Hard Bop 1996
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Four Seasons of Morita Village album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Four Seasons of Morita Village
Progressive Big Band 1996
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Monopoly Game album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Monopoly Game
Progressive Big Band 1998
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Tribute to Duke Ellington album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tribute to Duke Ellington
Progressive Big Band 1999
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Sketches of Japan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sketches of Japan
Hard Bop 1999
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Night and Dream album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Night and Dream
Hard Bop 1999
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI New York Sketch Book album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New York Sketch Book
Hard Bop 2004
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Hope album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hope
Hard Bop 2006
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Let Freedom Swing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Freedom Swing
Progressive Big Band 2007
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Vintage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vintage
Hard Bop 2008
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Classic Encounters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Encounters
Hard Bop 2010
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI My Long Yellow Road album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Long Yellow Road
Hard Bop 2017

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI EPs & splits

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko and Leon Sash at Newport album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko and Leon Sash at Newport
Avant-Garde Jazz 1957

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI live albums

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Meets Her Old Pals album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Meets Her Old Pals
Hard Bop 1961
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko at Top of the Gate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko at Top of the Gate
Hard Bop 1969
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi in Japan (aka Long Yellow Road) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi in Japan (aka Long Yellow Road)
Hard Bop 1970
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Jazz, the Personal Dimension album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz, the Personal Dimension
Hard Bop 1971
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Road Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Road Time
Progressive Big Band 1976
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Live At Newport album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Live At Newport
Progressive Big Band 1977
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Sumi-E album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Sumi-E
Progressive Big Band 1979
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band ‎: Live At Newport II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band ‎: Live At Newport II
Progressive Big Band 1980
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Mariano Quartet : Live At Birdland album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Mariano Quartet : Live At Birdland
Hard Bop 1991
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Carnegie Hall Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Carnegie Hall Concert
Progressive Big Band 1992
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI At Maybeck album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At Maybeck
Hard Bop 1995
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Solo Live at the Kennedy Center album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Live at the Kennedy Center
Hard Bop 2000
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Hiroshima - Rising From the Abyss album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Hiroshima - Rising From the Abyss
Progressive Big Band 2001
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Live at Blue Note Tokyo '97 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Blue Note Tokyo '97
Hard Bop 2001
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Last Live in Blue Note Tokyo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Live in Blue Note Tokyo
Progressive Big Band 2004
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI The 50th Anniversary of visit to America album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The 50th Anniversary of visit to America
Hard Bop 2006
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Solo Live 2004 (Live at 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo Live 2004 (Live at "Studio F")
Hard Bop 2009
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra in Shanghai album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra in Shanghai
Progressive Big Band 2011
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI 1980 Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio In Rikuzentakata album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1980 Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio In Rikuzentakata
Hard Bop 2014
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin : The Eternal Duo! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin : The Eternal Duo!
Post Bop 2019

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI re-issues & compilations

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko–Mariano Quartet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko–Mariano Quartet
Hard Bop 1997
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Mosaic Select 33 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band : Mosaic Select 33
Progressive Big Band 2008
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Her Trio, Her Quartet: Recordings From 1956-58 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Her Trio, Her Quartet: Recordings From 1956-58
Hard Bop 2014

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI singles (0)

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Strive for Jive
Progressive Big Band 1993

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Reviews

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Tales of a Courtesan (Oirantan)

Album · 1976 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
'Tales of a Courtesan' didn't hook me the way the first two Akiyoshi/Tabackin collaborations did. It's certainly not a bad record at all, but I just didn't find the arrangements as engaging here.

There's still a lot of variety and punch (especially to the energetic 'Strive for a Jive') and some reflective pieces too, like 'Interlude', which reminds me a little of some CTI-era Freddie Hubbard, but I was surprised to find the title track a little too sparse. It almost sounds like it was scored for a film but suffers a touch without accompanying visuals. Still, some haunting flute from Tabackin in there.

The surprise stand out for me is the brooding 'Village' which brings more of the progressive big band feel to the fore.

For fans of either Akiyoshi or Tabackin, this is still worthwhile I'd argue, but maybe the start with their first two if you're looking for a spot to dip into their respective catalogues.

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Long Yellow Road

Album · 1975 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
Start here.

If you're a fan of Progressive Big Band, and even Big Band or maybe Hard Bop, you should dig this. Much like Toshiko Akiyoshi and husband Lew Tabackin's previous album (Kogun) 'Long Yellow Road' is a stunning big band workout with inventive arrangements and great soloing from a range of instruments, including (among other players) piano from Akiyoshi and sax and flute from Lew.

Everything that is enjoyable about 'Kogun' is retained, improved and added to here. Once more Akiyoshi's arrangements are most impressive indeed. What makes them so good is their blend of the unexpected with the familiar - take the title track which leads off the album with something of a fanfare before switching to a bit of big band 'cool' and is in turn followed by 'The First Night' where playful flute gives was to a really swinging middle section.

'Opus No. Zero' is a classic-sounding Big Band piece with lots of space for horn solos and is an obvious standout, with a great tempo change that kicks things along. Next comes 'Quadirlle, Anyone?' with perhaps the best sax and trumpet interplay in the album, where the shifting rhythms do conjure up a complex dance.

And the piece that I haven't been able to stop playing? In some ways more sparse than the others, but also more subtly arranged, 'Children in the Temple Ground' is a triumph, using the big band to support melody in such an effective way that you forget you're listening to a large cast of players. Aside from the brilliant meeting of musical traditions heard in the song, it features wonderful extended soloing by Akiyoshi, something that I'd been craving.

To close the album is a split track 'Since Perry/Yet Another Tear' the first half (a hard bop/big band piece) written by Akiyoshi and the second (by Tabackin) which is more of a ballad, at first focusing on piano and sax, and then building to incorporate a fuller sound, the track being a little weaker than the rest of the record.

Once again, start here. It's the best way I can say it, start here. Five stars for me, no hesitation.

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Kogun

Album · 1974 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
Aside from her obvious skill as a piano player, Toshiko Akiyoshi is one of the best modern big-band arrangers you will hear. 'Discovered' by Oscar Peterson in the 50s, it was some time before she would meet, marry and team up with tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin and form a Big Band.

'Kogun' is their first release, in 1974, and it does everything you want a Big Band album to do. It sounds full, the tempo snaps, the solos are satisfying, the arrangements often go somewhere unexpected and there is, at times, a dose of something else completely when Akiyoshi incorporates traditional Japanese music into the sound.

The album opens with 'Elegy' something of a hard bop/big band track where we hear some nimble piano playing as Akiyoshi takes center stage by opening the song with a solo. This is wonderful but all to brief, as throughout the album her piano is used more for accompaniment, as she focuses on arrangement and (I imagine) conducting the band. That in itself is not meant to detract from the album, I simply found myself wanting more of her solos. 'Kogun' then switches gear with the brooding 'Memory' a ten-minute exploration of sombre territory, with muted trumpet and almost hesitant flutes featuring over sometimes menacing crescendos from the rest of the band. It also incorporates some clipped and processed spoken word that makes for a fascinating inclusion to the piece.

The title track is next, where the influence of Japanese music is clear. Here the fusion of styles dazzles the listener in a song with such a tonal range that it almost feels like a film score - if you search out any song from this album to hear before making a decision on a purchase, start with this one. 'American Ballad' is more in the tradition of older, war-time ballads but is treated to some lively moments. Closer 'Henpecked Old Man' matches the snappy tempo of the opener and is bit of a showcase for sax soloing and should keep your foot tapping.

'Kogun' is defined in part by the arrangements and the horns, but also by the sound of the flute, which plays a really important role in the songs - especially in helping to convey the otherworldly moments that the album carries off so well. Highly, highly recommended for fans of Progressive Big Band - and though this album is essential if you're interested in Akiyoshi, I'd actually start with the follow up 'Long Yellow Road.' That said, 'Kogun' shouldn't disappoint either.

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