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Walter Ojakäär

(Aramovich )

(b Moscow, Aug 15, 1934). Russian alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader of Armenian descent. Formerly known as Garanyan, he began to spell his surname Garanian at some point in the 1990s. He taught himself to play saxophone and led an amateur octet (1954–7) which later evolved into the youth orchestra of the Art Workers’ Central House in Moscow. For the next eight years he was a principal soloist in and arranger for Oleg Lundstrem’s orchestra (1958–66); he also led a quartet with the guitarist Nikolay Gromin, performing at festivals in Tallinn, Prague, and Moscow. He was a member of the Kontsertny Estradny Orkestr Tsentral’novo TV i Vsesoyuznovo Radio (Concert variety orchestra of the central TV and all-union radio) from 1966 to 1970, and after studying at the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory (until 1969) he led the orchestra from 1970 until it disbanded in ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

[Toko ]

(b Tokyo, Jan 3, 1946; d Tokyo, May 13, 1999). Japanese drummer and leader , brother of Terumasa Hino. He worked professionally as a tap-dancer from the age of eight and as a drummer from 1963. After playing with a quartet led by the tenor saxophonist Konosuke Saijo, with the Stardusters, and with quintets led by Shungo Sawada and by his brother, he formed his own trio. He moved to New York in 1978 to join JoAnne Brackeen’s trio, recorded with Bob Degen in Germany that same year, and played in the USA with Hugh Masekela, Joe Henderson, and Gary Bartz, among others. In 1980 he returned to Japan, where he rejoined his brother’s band, and from 1995 he toured Japan and the USA as a member of Terumasa Hino’s Asian Jazz All Stars. He played with Aki Takase, Nobuyoshi Ino, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Gomez, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Kenny Kirkland, and many others while leading his own bands, and in the 1990s he recorded with Dave Liebman, Scofield, Mike Stern, and Steve Swallow among his guest soloists. In ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Takarazuka, Japan, Feb 6, 1936). Japanese drummer and leader. He grew up in a musical family and made his professional début at the age of 16. When he was 20 he moved to Tokyo, where he joined the Six Josés, led by the double bass player Shin Watanabe, and then the West Liners, led by the tenor saxophonist Konosuke Saijo. One of the pioneers of modern drumming in Japan, he led several groups of different configurations throughout his career and eventually recorded more than 300 albums. He also formed, with Norio Maeda and the double bass player Yasuo Arakawa, the cooperative group We 3, which was regarded for many years as one of the best jazz trios in Japan. In the early 1960s Inomata lived in the USA and studied drums under Alan Dawson and others. He then returned to Japan, and in 1976 he established his Rhythm Clinic Center to promote educational aspects of jazz. In ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

[Joji ]

(b Fukakusa, Kyoto, Japan, June 15, 1927; d Tokyo, November 1, 2003). Japanese drummer and leader. He was brought up in Dairen, Manchuria (now Lü-ten, China), in a musical family, and joined his father’s band there when he was 18. After World War II he returned to Japan, and he began playing professionally in 1947. He worked with the Azumanians, a septet, and from 1953 into the 1980s played in the Big Four, whose founding members were Hidehiko Matsumoto, the pianist Hachidai Nakamura, and the double bass player Mitsuru Ono; the group operated and recorded mainly under Kawaguchi’s leadership. In 1981 he recorded as a leader with Art Blakey, and the following year he performed at the Kool Jazz Festival in New York; he gave concerts in Tokyo and Osaka in 1985. In 1987 he deputized for Blakey at the Mount Fuji Jazz Festival. Kawaguchi used two bass drums and was known for his extended solos; he projected strength and vitality as a drummer but was also capable of great delicacy....

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

(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

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

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, 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.

Article

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 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 Tokyo, Aug 11, 1966). Japanese drummer and leader. He started playing drums at the age of three, when he was given a miniature set as a birthday gift. While living in Kenya from ages five to eight he worked professionally as a musician at the Nairobi National Theater for a month. After returning to Japan he studied drums privately (1975–8). He was featured on various radio and TV programs as a child prodigy and gave his first recital in Tokyo when he was 11; that same year he recorded his first album as a leader. In 1978 he accompanied Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Japan. He then worked with Toshiyuki Honda (1978–84), Mikio Masuda (1984–7), and Fumio Karashima (1987–91). Having graduated from Hosei University in 1987, he moved in 1991 to New York, where he later performed with Kenny Garrett, Don Friedman, and Ron McClure, among many others. Okudaira became a member of Carlos Garnett’s quartet in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Akita, Japan, Sept 28, 1966). Japanese drummer and leader. He took up drums at the age of ten and in 1986 enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. In 1990 he returned to Japan to start a professional career, and his participation that same year in Roy Hargrove’s quartet with Yutaka Shiina led to the formation, in 1991, of the quintet Jazz Networks (with the addition of Antonio Hart); the group made several successful recordings. In 1992, with Tomonao Hara, Osaka formed a quintet. He teaches part-time at Senzoku Junior College.

Article

Guillermo I. Olliver and Rainer E. Lotz

[Mike; Muhiddin, Ahmed]

(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], Sept 24, 1905). Argentine bandleader, banjoist, guitarist, and singer of Turkish birth. While attending the University of Michigan he played banjo under the name Ahmed Muhiddin in student bands (1924–31) and in an orchestra led by Jean Goldkette (1927). He worked as a newspaper correspondent in Uruguay and at the same time played in and around Montevideo in a trio led by the pianist Luis Rolero, with which he later moved to Buenos Aires; after this group disbanded in 1934 he joined the Dixie Pals, led by the violinist Paul Wyer, with which he recorded several tracks for Victor, including a version of his own composition Africa (1934, 37642). From 1936 to the early 1940s he played with the pianist Rene Cospito and his Orquesta Argentina de Jazz, with the drummer Mario D’Alo’s Rhythm Kings, and in a group modeled after the Quintette du Hot Club de France that included Hernán Oliva (violin), Dave Washington (second guitar), and Louis Vola (double bass). In the late 1930s, by which time he had taken the name Ahmed Ratip, he studied harmony with the bandleader Russ Goudy. Early in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama and Barry Kernfeld

(b Yokohama, Japan, Aug 16, 1932; d Tokyo, Sept 10, 1995). Japanese clarinetist and leader. His father played violin in orchestras accompanying silent films, and all three of his brothers became professional musicians. He grew up in Zushi from 1945 (after Yokohama was bombed) and began practicing on his elder brother’s clarinet; he turned professional at the age of 16. After playing successively with four bands, including Fumio Nanri’s Hot Peppers, in 1952 he formed a quintet, the Rhythm Aces, modeled after Benny Goodman’s classic small groups; in tribute to Goodman’s forthcoming appearance in Japan in January 1957 he made several recordings in this style. Later in 1957 he had considerable success with a Hawaiian-style pop recording, Suzukake no michi (Sycamore road), on which Peanuts Hucko played. His swing quintet recorded in New York with Hucko as guest soloist in 1962, and in spring 1966 Suzuki spent a month deputizing for Hucko at Eddie Condon’s club. He continued to lead the Rhythm Aces in Japan into the mid-1990s, making further recordings with this group, and also performed with Hucko, Helen Merrill, and others in a concert tour of Japan in ...

Article

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.