Toshiko Akiyoshi


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The title cut of this Ascent LP is an emotional farewell to Charles Mingus. The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band (which during the era mostly recorded for the co-leaders' Ascent label) is in superb form throughout the date. They also perform "After Mr. Teng" (a stomp based on the chords of "Strike Up the Band"), "Song for the Harvest," the Latin-flavored "Shades of Yellow" and "Autumn Sea" (a ballad feature for Tabackin's Asian-sounding flute). Among the many soloists are Akiyoshi (taking an opening piano solo on "After Mr. Teng"), trumpeter Steve Huffsteter, both Tabackin and John Gross on tenors (they engage in a heated battle on "After Mr. Teng"), and altoist Dan Higgins. This LP, as with all of this band's Ascent releases, is well worth searching for.

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