- Kazunori Sugiyama
(b Fukuoka, Japan, Sept 27, 1927). Japanese tenor saxophonist and leader. He played piano from the age of 13, took up alto saxophone in a navy band in 1943, and changed to the tenor instrument two years later to play jazz. Having been a member of the groups Tokyo Jive and Gay Septet, he launched his own Prez Six (later Prez Nine as well) in 1956. In the 1960s he composed a few Japanese pop hits. He formed the Great Jazz Quintet with Hank Jones in 1989 and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival several times. Oda was known throughout his career as “Japanese Prez” because of his devotion to Lester Young’s style.