- Yozo Iwanami
- , revised by Kazunori Sugiyama
(b Yamagata, Japan, Dec 24, 1931; d Tokyo, February 29, 2008). Japanese bandleader and tenor saxophonist. He played professionally from 1951 and worked at American military bases near Sendai before moving to Tokyo in the late 1950s; his early style was influenced by that of Hidehiko Matsumoto. In 1961 he joined the alto saxophonist Keiichiro Ebihara and his Lobsters, and from 1966 he led Tokyo Union, a big band that made an acclaimed recording, Scandinavian Suite, in 1977; he also appeared at the festivals in Monterey (California) and Montreux (Switzerland). Tokyo Union disbanded in 1989. From 1992 Takahashi directed student and amateur big bands, and in 1996 he formed the group Jazz Groovys. His saxophone playing owed much to the work of Sonny Rollins, and the style of his band was strongly rhythmic. He had commissioned arrangements by, among others, Slide Hampton, Chikara Ueda, and Toshiyuki Honda.