THE BAND: Pianist, composer, and arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi led what was considered to be one of the finest Big Bands in Jazz. They masterfully possess an individual sound while continuing to swing, maintaining a traditional Big Band feel. From the American Bebop of pianist Bud Powell, to Eastern folk music structures of Japan and the creativity of the band’s principle soloist (saxophone/flutist Lew Tabackin), these various musical influences create a rich texture and originality to the renowned Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra.
"...one of our great musical institutions...absolutely amazing." - Jazz Times
THE HISTORY: Born in China, Akiyoshi began by playing piano in Japanese dance halls during WWII. By the 1960s she had gained international acclaim, recording with Oscar Peterson and playing regularly with Charles Mingus. But it was in the 1970s, upon establishing the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra with Tabackin, that Akiyoshi cemented her place in music and rose to become one of the most respected pianists and composers in Jazz.
No. 1 Big Band! - downbeat Magazine's Critic's and Readers Poll
THE PROGRAM: This live, full-length DVD concert performance of the 16-piece Big Band, which includes Frank Wess and Lew Tabackin, provides an additional dimension by infusing the concert with interviews from Akiyoshi and Tabackin. The definitive record of the world’s foremost modern Jazz orchestra, this DVD is contemporary Big Band music at its best.
Selections include: Yellow is Mellow Strive For Jive Quadrille Anyone? Autumn Sea Warning, Success May Be Hazardous To Your Health Strive For Jive (reprise) DVD Bonus Features: Toshiko Akiyoshi Biography Lew Tabackin Biography Frank Wess Biography DVD Recommendations Dolby Digital Stereo Audio Digitally Remastered Audio & Video Instant Access to All Songs