Toshiko Akiyoshi

Desert Lady/Fantasy

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Recordings by the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra are surprisingly few, particularly from the 1990s. The pianist/arranger Akiyoshi is near the top of her field, and her 1993 orchestra is heard in excellent form on this CD interpreting four of her originals, Lew Tabackin's "Broken Dreams" (a ballad feature for his tenor), and Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop." Other key soloists include trombonist Conrad Herwig; trumpeters Joe Magnarelli, John Eckert, and Greg Gisbert; and altoists Jerry Dodgion and Jim Snidero. The music mostly swings hard, and there are many exciting moments along the way, making one wonder why this important orchestra has recorded so little since this time. Worth searching for.

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