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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 ...

Article

revised by Chuck Braman and Barry Kernfeld

(b Philadelphia, March 25, 1931; d Manhattan, November 22, 2011). Drummer and composer. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and began playing drums at the age of 12. During the Korean War he was in the navy, and he studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington before being stationed in Brooklyn from November 1953. On being discharged in September 1954 he settled permanently in Manhattan and entered the Manhattan School of Music; he also took private lessons on drum set and timpani. From 1955 he accompanied a variety of musicians, including Gil Evans, George Russell, Thelonious Monk, George Wallington, Tony Scott (intermittently, 1956–8), Stan Getz (May 1957), Oscar Pettiford’s quintet and big band (May–June 1957), Warne Marsh (recording in 1958), Lennie Tristano (at the Half Note, August–October 1958), Eddie Costa (1958–9), Al Cohn and Zoot Sims (performing and recording in ...

Article

Michael Baumgartner

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 1931; d New York, NY, Nov 22, 2011). American jazz drummer and composer. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12. During the Korean War he studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington before being stationed in Brooklyn from November 1953. After his discharge in September 1954 he moved to New York, entered the Manhattan School of Music and took private lessons on drums and timpani. In the mid- to late 1950s he accompanied various musicians, including Tony Scott, Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford (in both his quintet and big band), Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. In 1956 Motian began collaborating with Bill Evans, appearing on the pianist’s first album. Subsequently he was the drummer in Evans’s first and second trios (1959–64). He continued his career as an experienced drummer of piano trios, first with Paul Bley’s group (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

revised by Yozo Iwanami

(b Nagoya, Japan, Jan 21, 1949). Japanese trombonist and leader. He left Doshisha University, Kyoto, to embark on a career as a musician. Having first worked with the alto saxophonist Yoshio Otomo, Ryo Kawasaki, and Hiroshi Fukumura, he formed his own group, which performed at the first Shinjuku Jazz Festival to some acclaim. Later he worked with the group Spik and Span, recorded with Terumasa Hino (1975), and played with Kazumi Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Akira Sakata, and other Japanese musicians, as well as with Elvin Jones, Billy Hart, and the Brazilian samba singer João Bosco. In the 1990s he led the J Quintet, the 4 Brass Ensemble Orchestra (for which he has written arrangements), and other groups. Mukai teaches at the Senzoku School of Music.

(recorded for Columbia–Better Days unless otherwise indicated)

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Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, March 14, 1948). Japanese drummer and leader. He took up drums at the age of 15 and made his professional début with Takehiro Honda’s trio in 1967. During the following decade or so he performed with Masabumi Kikuchi (1969–72, 1973), Sadao Watanabe (1972, 1975), Kosuke Mine and Honda (both 1976–7), and Native Son, led by Honda and Mine (1978–81). After living intermittently in the USA he settled in Japan in 1983. Murakami led his own ensembles from 1981, and he also performed with the group led by the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki from 1996 and with Manabu Oishi’s trio from 1997.

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Kazunori Sugiyama

[Ponta ]

(b Nishinomiya, Japan, Jan 1, 1951). Japanese drummer and leader. He started on french horn at the age of 12, took up timpani and other classical percussion when he was 16, and then changed to drums. In 1972 he began working professionally and joined groups led by Sadao Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Kazumi Watanabe, Akira Sakata, and Takashi Kako, among many others. In ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Shizuoka, Japan, July 25, 1963). Japanese trombonist and leader. He took up trombone at the age of 13 and played professionally from his college years. In 1985 he formed a quartet, and from the following year he played with Sadao Watanabe’s big band and with Orquesta de la Lus, a popular Japanese band which plays a Latin repertory. He has composed music for films, television dramas, and commercials, and has written arrangements for numerous Japanese pop bands. In the 1990s Murata led the group Solid Brass (from ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Baku, USSR [now Azerbaijan], Dec 19, 1969). Azerbaijani pianist and singer, daughter of Vagif Mustafa-Zade. In the 1960s and 1970s both her father and her mother, the singer Eliza Khanom, strove for a synthesis of jazz and mugam, the improvised modal music of Azerbaijan. After studying classical piano at the conservatory in Baku, she moved to Germany in 1991 and began to record as a leader; among her sidemen have been Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke, Omar Hakim, Bill Evans (iii), Toot Thielemans, and Philip Catherine. Her performances typically involve a dramatic blend of jazz, mugam, and avant-garde and classical music.

(all recorded for Columbia)

CarrJ “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh,” JP, 40/6 (1991), 3 W. Minor: “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh: an Unzipped Soul,” JF...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(b Baku, Azerbaijan SSR [now Azerbaijan], March 16, 1940; d Tashkent, Uzbek SSR [now Uzbekistan], Dec 17, 1979). Azerbaijani pianist and composer, father of Aziza Mustafa Zadeh. Although Starr (1983) gives his surname as Mustafa-Zadeh, all of his recordings for Melodiya give it as Mustafa-Zade. After attending music school in Baku (graduating in 1959) he formed the trio Kavkaz in Tbilisi (Georgian SSR, now Georgia) and first gained prominence at the jazz festival in Tallinn (Estonian SSR, now Estonia) (1967). He led the Azerbaijan Variety Orchestra (1969–70), with which he also performed as a soloist, and in Baku he formed and led the groups Leili (1970–71), Sevil (1972–7), and Mugam (1977–9). His piano piece Expecting Aziza won the first prize at the competition for jazz compositions in Monaco (1979), and he wrote two piano concertos and music for the theater and films. A good example of Mustafa-Zade’s work is the album ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Oct 7, 1975). Japanese trombonist. His grandfather, father, and two uncles all became professional musicians; taught by family members, he began playing cornet at the age of two, piano at the age of three, and trombone when he was five, and he performed on a semi-regular basis with his father’s band from the time he was six. He appeared with Wild Bill Davison in the USA when he was only 12, and at the age of 16 was invited to a summer session at the Berklee College of Music. After completing a degree in composition at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1995 he made his début as a classical soloist the following year, performing with the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra. Nakagawa is active giving concerts, appearing in clubs, and undertaking studio work.

(all recorded for King)

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 25, 1947). Japanese flutist and leader. He studied flute at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music (graduating in 1969) and continued with lessons under Jean-Pierre Rampal and others; at the same time he learned jazz theory under Sadao Watanabe and Masahiko Sato. Nakagawa was principally a classical performer in his early professional career and toured overseas extensively from ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kyoto, Japan, Dec 1, 1963). Japanese trombonist and leader. He took up trombone in junior high school at the age of 14 and later performed in big bands, including the Tokyo Union Orchestra, Yosuke Yamashita’s Panja Swing Orchestra, that led by the trombonist Kenichi Tsunoda, and Orquesta de la Lus, a popular Japanese salsa band. With the group Nettai Jazz Gakudan he recorded the album ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

(b Tokyo, March 3, 1942). Japanese bass player and record producer. He attended Nippon University in Tokyo and in 1964 moved to New York, where he studied double bass with Reggie Workman. In the mid-1970s he played both double bass and electric bass guitar in his own Rising Sun Band, which performed at many venues in New York, including The Kitchen, the Bottom Line, and the Village Gate; in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kagoshima, Japan, March 15, 1933). Japanese guitarist and leader. He began guitar lessons at the age of 12 and, after graduating from high school, moved to Tokyo to become a jazz musician. While studying at Aoyama Gakuin University he performed with many groups. A pioneer of modern jazz guitar in Japan, he led a guitar trio, which included the double bass player Kunimitsu Inaba (from 1957), and appeared as a sideman with Sadao Watanabe (1960) and Takeshi Inomata and the West Liners (1962). In 1995 he became a member of a cooperative group with Norio Maeda and Inomata.

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 24, 1910; d Tokyo, Aug 4, 1975). Japanese trumpeter and leader. He learned cornet in a brass band at the age of 14, turned professional two years later, and when he was 19 spent seven months in Shanghai, where Teddy Weatherford taught him to improvise. After returning to Japan he participated in the emerging vogue for American-style swing bands, and in the mid-1930s he made several recordings on which his Hot Peppers accompanied the singer Dick Mine (including Dinah, 1934, Tei. SP5411); he also made, under his own name, the pairing Serenade/Last Round Up (1936, Col. SPJ28937). During this era a number of Japanese big bands were modeled after those of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and others, but Nanri was among the few Japanese musicians who could improvise in an idiomatic jazz style in the pre-war years, and Last Round Up, a duo in which he is supported by a guitarist, is considered to be the first solo recording by a Japanese jazz musician. Nanri led his Hot Peppers in Dairen, Manchuria, from ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

Record label established around 1995 as a subsidiary of Naxos, a company that records predominantly classical music and which is in turn a division of HNH International, Ltd., formed in Hong Kong in the mid-1980s by Klaus Heymann. Mike Nock oversees artists and repertory for Naxos Jazz, which began recording in ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

Japanese record company and label. The company was founded in 1910 as Nippon Chikuonki Shōkai (Japan Phonograph Company) by the American businessman Frederick Whitney Horne; it immediately undertook a recording program, one of the first Japanese companies to do so, and specialized in classical music. In 1927 it began to manufacture and distribute in Japan recordings made by the British Columbia company, and in the following year it changed its name to Nippon Columbia Chikuonki Kabushiki Kaisha. In 1935 it became a wholly Japanese-owned company, and in 1946 it changed its trading name to Nippon Columbia Kabushiki Kaisha. While continuing its affiliation with British Columbia (to 1962), Nippon Columbia began in 1948 to manufacture and distribute recordings from American Columbia; its affiliation with American Columbia ended in 1968, when the CBS/Sony company was created, but Nippon Columbia retained the right to use the name Columbia in Japan. It first issued LPs in ...

Article

Megan E. Hill

(b Osaka, Japan, 1957). Jazz and blues pianist, singer, and composer of Japanese birth. She took piano lessons briefly as a child and was exposed to the blues while growing up in Osaka in the 1960s and 1970s. As a high school student, she formed the Yoko Blues Band with classmates. The band earned some success, winning first prize and a recording contract in a television-sponsored contest. In 1984 she moved to the United States to pursue a jazz and blues career in Chicago. Initially a singer, she studied piano with boogie, blues, and jazz pianist Erwin Helfer. In the early 1990s Noge established the Jazz Me Blues Band, which has played regularly in Chicago since its formation. In addition to Noge on piano and vocals, the ensemble has included Noge’s husband, Clark Dean, on soprano saxophone, saxophonist Jimmy Ellis, trombonist Bill McFarland, and bassist Tatsu Aoki. In addition to playing more conventional jazz and blues, Noge has made a name for herself through the unique compositions she has written for the group, which meld Japanese folk music styles with Chicago blues. Active in the broader Asian American community, she cofounded the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival in ...