Toshiko Akiyoshi


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Taking a break from leading her orchestra in 1993, pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi took a small group into the studio for a fresh look at some favorites of the bop era, familiar Latin songs, along with her always compelling originals. Her band includes trumpeter Conte Candoli and tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, plus the in-demand rhythm team of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. A driving take of Miles Davis' "Dig" (a variation of the changes to "Sweet Georgia Brown") is followed by a richly textured arrangement of J.J. Johnson's "Lament," with the horns providing a soft harmonic backing for her stark piano. Her trio of originals include the constantly shifting bop vehicle "Lazy Day," the driving "Haliquin Tears," and the hip "Uptown Stroll" that showcases Peter Washington extensively. Her breezy take of "Morning of the Carnival" (published as "Manha de Carnaval") incorporates a bit of Bud Powell's influence. The Cuban favorite "La Mucura" suggests a lively street parade, with Kenny Washington keeping the Latin pulse in the foreground.

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