Toshiko Akiyoshi

Tribute to Billy Strayhorn

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One of pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi's infrequent trio dates (she was becoming quite well-known during the era as an arranger and big bandleader), this out-of-print but quite rewarding album features Akiyoshi interpreting eight Billy Strayhorn compositions. Five songs feature her joined by bassist John Heard and drummer Peter Donald, while the remaining three tunes utilize bassist Bob Daugherty and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Highlights of the high-quality set include "Take the 'A' Train," "Rain Check" and "Intimacy of the Blues." Akiyoshi plays throughout in superior form, making one wish that the music on this excellent LP were available on CD.