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Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 5, 1958). Japanese double bass player. He played electric bass guitar in a high school rock band and then studied double bass privately while attending Kansei Gakuin University. Later he performed with the quartets led by the pianist Sadayasu Fujii (1984) and by Takashi Furuya (1987). Having moved to the USA, he worked with the Harper Brothers (1989–90), Andy Bey (1989–91), Kenny Barron and Jimmy Heath (both from 1993), Kenny Garrett (1993–5), Makoto Ozone (from 1996), and Terrell Stafford (from 1997); he recorded with the Harpers, Heath, Garrett, and Ozone, as well as with Susannah McCorkle (1993–4).

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, April 8, 1929). Japanese clarinetist. He played in a band at Keio University in Tokyo and worked professionally from the early 1950s. From 1954 he led a quintet, and in 1957 he played with Benny Goodman in Tokyo. He recorded as a leader with Teddy Wilson (1971, 1973), as a sideman with Woody Herman, John Lewis, Hank Jones, Earl Hines, and others, and as a leader of groups of which Wilson was a member (c1980, 1981). From 1978 to 1996 he appeared yearly at the Monterey Jazz Festival; he also performed at the Concord Jazz Festival annually from 1980 to 1983, and at the Mt. Hood (Oregon) Jazz Festival (1985 and 1991) and the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland (1995). During the 1980s and 1990s he often played in groups with Bill Berry. Kitamura is chiefly a swing and dixieland player, but in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

[Monky ]

(b Akita, Japan, Nov 21, 1953). Japanese drummer and leader. He took up drums at the age of 15 and, before moving to the USA, performed with the trio led by the pianist Kunihiko Sugano, the band led by the vibraphonist and pianist Takashi Oi, and others. In New York he played on the streets, and in 1984 he made his first recording under his own name, leading a hard-bop group whose members included C. Sharpe, Junior Cook, Benny Green, and Lonnie Plaxico. From the early 1990s he worked in both Japan and the USA and established two groups named the Good Fellas. The American version of Good Fellas involved Vincent Herring, Dave Kikoski, and Ira Coleman; the Japanese version also performed and recorded at the Birdland, New York, in 1997. During the same period Kobayashi appeared as a sideman with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra (1991), the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama, Barry Kernfeld and Gary W. Kennedy

(b Imabari, Japan, Dec 15, 1948). Japanese trumpeter and leader. He took up trumpet at the age of 12, when he played in a brass band as well as performing classical music; he also began to listen to Louis Armstrong’s recordings and to Afro-Cuban music. After graduating from Kyoto University he moved in 1972 to Tokyo, and that same year he worked with Yosuke Yamashita’s trio. Leading his own trio, consisting of Takashi Tokuhiro on double bass and Toshiyuki Tsuchitori on drums, he began to play in a style that combined free improvisation with more conventional modern-jazz forms. In 1975, with the addition of the saxophonist Mototeru Takagi and the drummer Yoshisaburo Toyozumi, this became the cooperative group Evolution Ensemble Unity, but soon afterwards, with changes in membership, it settled into a trio comprising Kondo, Takagi, and the double bass player Morio Yoshida; such guest soloists as Motoharu Yoshizawa and Oliver Johnson appeared with the ensemble. Kondo performed and recorded in Japan with Milford Graves in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Yokohama, Japan, Sept 14, 1948). Japanese flutist and leader. She started on flute at the age of nine, studied the instrument at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, and began playing jazz following her graduation. From 1974 she led a band which was active in clubs. She also performed with Isao Suzuki’s group in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

[Shoichi ]

(b Hokkaido, Japan, Oct 25, 1947). Japanese drummer. Self-taught, he took up drums in his teens and joined a circle of jazz musicians associated with a student club at Waseda University in Tokyo; he studied jazz drumming privately. After graduating wth a BA in literature in 1974 he joined the trios of Aki Takase and Fumio Itabashi and the group led by Yoshio Ikeda. From 1976 to 1983 he was a member of Yosuke Yamashita’s trio, which throughout the period performed at major festivals in Europe and the USA, and in 1994 he led his own trio, Ichigo Ichie, featuring Nao Takeuchi. Koyama also played further with Itabashi, with the pianist Yoriyuki Harada, and with the reed player Koichi Matsukaze, and has been active as a music teacher.

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Kazunori Sugiyama

[Nobuhito ]

(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 6, 1934). Japanese composer, arranger, and pianist. Self-taught, he took up piano as a child and turned professional at the age of 19. After working in the Osaka area he moved to Tokyo in 1955, then played with Shungo Sawada’s Double Beats Five, served from 1959 as pianist and arranger for the West Liners, led by the tenor saxophonist Konosuke Saijo, and led his own group, the Wind Breakers. He wrote compositions for many bands, including the Blue Coats (With Happy Feeling), Tatsuya Takahashi’s Tokyo Union (Confusion), Nobuo Hara’s Sharps and Flats, and Toshiyuki Miyama’s New Herd, and contributed arrangements to about 150 albums. With the double bass player Yasuo Arakawa and Takeshi Inomata, Maeda formed the cooperative group We 3, which was regarded for many years as one of the best trios in Japan, and in 1995 he formed another cooperative group, with Inomata and Sadanori Nakamure....

Article

Nicholas Higgins

(b Trieste, Italy, May 4, 1971). saxophonist of Italian birth. Of South Asian descent, he grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and started playing alto saxophone at age 11. He studied briefly at North Texas State University and received his BM from the Berklee College of Music; he later earned a master’s degree in jazz composition from DePaul University in Chicago. After moving to New York in 1997, Mahanthappa played a crucial role in the pianist Vijay Iyer’s quartet in the 1990s and early 2000s and produced four unique projects with his own quartet. One of these, Mother Tongue (2005), used tonal transcriptions of phrases from Indian languages as melodic source material for his compositions; another, Codebook (2006), applied cryptographic methods to musical composition.

Mahanthappa’s subsequent music has featured other alto saxophonists. His project with Bunky Green (2010) featured the pianist Jason Moran, the bass player François Moutin, and the drummers Damion Reid and Jack DeJohnette. The Dakshina Ensemble, his project with the South Indian musician Kadri Gopalnath, combined jazz and South Indian classical-music ensembles. A two-saxophone project, Dual Identity, featured the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman as well as Reid, the bass player Matt Brewer, and the guitarist Liberty Ellman....

Article

Wim van Eyle

(b Tjirebon, Dutch East Indies [now Cirebon, Indonesia], March 15, 1901; d The Hague, Jan 27, 1965). Dutch bandleader and pianist. He studied piano at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands, wrote compositions from the early 1920s, and played piano in the Queen’s Melodists; he first worked professionally as a member of the Resonance Seven (...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, May 23, 1933). Japanese vibraphonist. He studied at Meiji University in Tokyo and played guitar before taking up vibraphone in 1955. From the following year he played with the double bass player Mitsuru Ono and his Six Brothers and with a quintet led by Eiji Kitamura, and in 1976 he formed a quartet. He also recorded as a co-leader (1977) and sideman (1984) with Ray Brown and in a duo with the pianist Keiko Nemoto (1983). Masuda’s playing has been influenced most strongly by Milt Jackson (with whom he recorded as co-leader late in 1990), but in his performances with such swing groups as Kitamura’s quintet it has also recalled the work of Lionel Hampton. In addition to his career as a performer he has worked occasionally as a sound engineer, and he runs the record company and label GML....

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Aug 14, 1949). Japanese pianist and leader. He is self-taught, and played in Osaka before moving in 1969 to Tokyo, where he worked at clubs with Isao Suzuki and the trombonist Hiroshi Suzuki. In 1973 he performed, toured Europe, and recorded with Terumasa Hino’s hard-bop group. After going to New York in 1974 he played with Art Blakey and recorded the album Trace as a leader that same year. Thereafter he recorded with Hino (on piano and electric piano, 1975), with Kosuke Mine (1975, 1976), and again as a leader (1976). He returned to Japan in 1976 and led groups and made several recordings while playing with Sadao Watanabe. His jazz-fusion bands made popular recordings into the early 1980s. By the 1990s Masuda was suffering from the effects of multiple sclerosis, but he continued to make new recordings with such sidemen as Ron Carter, Grady Tate, Billy Higgins, and Lewis Nash; ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Oct 12, 1946). Japanese guitarist. His father was a pianist with the group the Old Boys and one of the pioneers of jazz in Japan. Self-taught, Masuo took up guitar at the age of 15 and was initially strongly influenced by Wes Montgomery. He attended Waseda University in Tokyo, which he left in 1968 to join Sadao Watanabe’s quintet; while with the group he made tours of Europe and America in 1970, when it appeared at the Montreux and Newport festivals. After leaving Watanabe he settled in New York, where he recorded with Elvin Jones (December 1971), played with Jones, Roy Haynes, Lenny White, and Mike Brecker, and served as a sideman in the bands of Lee Konitz (1972) and Sonny Rollins (1973–5). In 1976 he toured Europe with Jones and then played alongside Joe Chambers in Larry Young’s trio. In ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Kazunori Sugiyama

[Sleepy ]

(b Okayama, Japan, Oct 12, 1926; d Tokyo, Feb 29, 2000). Japanese tenor saxophonist and leader. He joined the CB Nine, the first Japanese bop group, in 1949, played with the Six Josés, then formed the Big Four with George Kawaguchi, the pianist Hachidai Nakamura, and the double bass player Mitsuru Ono; in 1959 he joined a quintet led by the drummer Hideo Shiraki. He recorded as a guest soloist with Gerald Wilson’s big band at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1963 and worked as a leader from the following year.

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Fujisawa, Japan, Nov 17, 1967). Japanese trumpeter and flugelhorn player. He learned piano from the age of six, then moved on to play trumpet in a brass band at junior high school when he was 13. After attending the Berklee College of Music (1988–91) he formed a quintet consisting of Joh Yamada (alto saxophone), Masaaki Imaizumi (piano), Tomoyuki Shima (double bass), and Junji Hirose (drums). Matsushima also performed in Yoichi Kobayashi’s Good Fellas (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

[Wakabayashi, Kenji ]

(b Tokyo, Feb 6, 1944). Japanese tenor saxophonist and leader. Having studied clarinet in junior high school he changed to alto saxophone in high school. He first came to prominence as a member of Masabumi Kikuchi’s group (1969–73). After recording his second album (Mine, 1970) he performed with Mal Waldron and Joe Henderson in Japan; around this time he began to play the tenor instrument. Mine left Kikuchi in 1973 and lived in New York for two years. In 1975 he returned to Japan, and in 1978, with Takehiro Honda, he formed Native Son, a jazz-fusion unit; this successful group performed in São Paulo, Brazil, at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and at the Bottom Line and Seventh Avenue South in New York. From 1989 Mine played in Nobuyoshi Ino’s group the Four Sounds, and in 1992 he established a quintet which made recordings and in ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Matsumoto, Japan, Dec 6, 1927; d Tokyo, July 6, 2000). Japanese tenor saxophonist. Having joined an army brass band in 1944, he began playing professionally after World War II. He performed with, among others, Shotaro Moriyasu, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Sadao Watanabe, and recorded with Akiyoshi (1954–64...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kyoto, Japan, Jan 5, 1942). Japanese tenor saxophonist and leader. He started on clarinet at the age of 11 and made his professional début in 1964 in Nagoya. In 1966 he moved to Tokyo to join Hideto Kanai’s Kings Lore Orchestra. Later he became a member of Masayuki Takayanagi’s group New Direction (1971) and Masahiko Togashi’s quartet (1972) and performed with the orchestra led by the composer and arranger Bingo Miki. After returning to Nogoya he led a quartet (from 1982) and the Riverside Jazz Orchestra (from 1992) and taught at several schools in the area around Nagoya and Kyoto. In addition to his principal instrument, Mori plays alto saxophone, flutes, clarinet, bass clarinet, and other winds.

(recorded for Three Blind Mice unless otherwise indicated)

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, March 31, 1965). Japanese pianist and leader. She began piano lessons at the age of four and started playing jazz while at Waseda University in Tokyo in 1983, when she was a member of the university’s High Society Big Band. During the three years following her graduation she performed mainly in jazz clubs, and in 1991 she moved to New York to undertake graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music. She performed at several New York clubs, appeared at the Montreux–Detroit Kool Jazz Festival with the singer Harvey Thompson, toured Spain with John Stubblefield (1991), and played in a group led by Wendell Harrison and Cecil Bridgewater (1993). In 1993, after completing her studies, Moriya returned to Japan and led her own seven- to nine-piece group, as well as a more conventional trio and quartet. She also performed with Motohiko Hino, Kimiko Itoh, the singer Harumi Kaneko, and Satoru Oda, among others. Don Sickler, Ryan Kisor, and Chris Potter are among her sidemen on her album ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 27, 1945). Japanese drummer and leader. He took up piano at the age of seven and drums when he was 19; later he graduated in percussion from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. As a member of Yosuke Yamashita’s trio from 1967 through 1975 he performed frequently in Europe to critical acclaim. From 1977 he led his own quartet. Moriyama settled in Nagoya in the late 1970s and regularly led jam sessions at one of the principal jazz clubs there. He played at the festival in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1984 and in a duo with Yamashita in Paris in 1986.

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 5, 1924; d Tokyo, Sept 28, 1955). Japanese pianist. He grew up in a musical family and taught himself to play piano at around the age of nine. After World War II he studied classical piano and, in 1949, harmony, the latter while working by day and playing jazz piano at night. He learned the basics of bop from an American pianist at a military base in 1950, then studied the recordings of Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and others; in the process he became a pioneer of modern jazz in Japan and perhaps the most progressive-thinking Japanese musician of his day. Moriyasu performed with several bands, including that of Shungo Sawada through 1954. Presumably disappointed with the business side of music, he committed suicide in 1955 by jumping in front of a train. He left numerous arrangements for Nobuo Hara’s Sharps and Flats which contributed significantly to that group’s later success. Moriyasu may be heard to advantage on ...