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Sergey Belichenko

(Konstantinovich )

(b Tashkent, Uzbekistan SSR [now Uzbekistan], Nov 24, 1949). Russian pianist, composer, and leader. He entered the conservatory in Tashkent in 1958 and graduated in 1968. After moving to Novosibirsk (1969) he appeared at the city’s third jazz festival and studied at the conservatory (to 1973). He worked in groups with Sergey Belichenko, among them Jazz Golden Years (1977), alongside the trumpeter Valery Kolesnikov, the trombonist Victor Budarin, Anatoly Vapirov, and the double bass player Ivars Galneiks; Vladimir Tolkachev also played with the group, as did the vibraphonist Igor Uvarov. Dmitriev taught jazz at Novosibirsk Musical College from 1976, and in that same year he organized his own trio, with which he performed at festivals in the USSR. In 1981 he formed a duo with Uvarov, and he also joined the Western Siberian Jazz Quartet. From 1984 he led the jazz quintet at the conservatory in Novosibirsk. In ...

Article

Roger T. Dean

(b Shanghai, China, Aug 16, 1943). Australian pianist and composer. He studied piano before moving to Australia around 1951, and then also learned trumpet; he took Australian citizenship in the mid-1950s. By the age of 17 he was concentrating on piano. From 1963 to 1969 he led a trio at El Rocco in Sydney, except for periods during the years 1964–6, when he was in London. He returned there between 1970 and 1974 and worked at Ronnie Scott’s club and many other venues. In Australia again he formed Free Kata, probably the first Australian free-improvisation group, mainly with Eddie Bronson (saxophone) and Lou Burdett (drums). While continuing to play as an unaccompanied soloist and in small free-improvising groups he recorded in conventional settings with such visitors to Australia as Anita O’Day, Art Pepper, Sonny Stitt, Herb Ellis, Richie Cole, and Ray Brown. Ermoll has been influenced by karate and associated philosophies, as is superficially visible in his often aggressive, even violent approach to the keyboard; this connection also manifests itself in deeper, but intangible ways....

Article

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

Mary Talusan

(b Anaheim, CA, Nov 15, 1970). American jazz percussionist and composer. Of Filipino heritage, Ibarra grew up in Houston, Texas. She received a music diploma from Mannes College and a BA from Goddard College. She studied drums with Buster Smith and Vernel Fournier and percussion with Milford Graves. She also played with William Parker and his big band, The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. In the 1990s, Ibarra became interested in Philippine musical traditions and took lessons on kulintang from master artist Danongan Kalanduyan. She joined the avant-garde free jazz quartet led by David S. Ware and became well known in the New York jazz scene. She collaborated on several albums with a number of respected musicians such as Assif Tsahar, Cooper-Moore, Charles Burnham, Chris Speed, Wadada Leo Smith, and Pauline Oliveros, notably on the album ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Jan 31, 1947). Japanese pianist and composer. He studied piano from the age of eight and played jazz as a teenager, but in 1965 he enrolled at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music to study composition and European art music; after receiving his first degree in 1969 he pursued graduate studies in composition at the same institution (MA 1971). In 1971 he enrolled at the Paris Conservoire to study under Olivier Messiaen, and in 1976 he received a premier prix in composition. He made his début as a free-jazz pianist in Paris in 1973, and the following year he joined the trio TOK, with Kent Carter and Oliver Johnson; with TOK he toured in Japan (1978, 1979, 1982) and in Europe (1986). Kako was also a member of Noah Howard’s quartet (1974–6), Masahiko Togashi’s quartet (for a tour of Japan, ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 17, 1960). Japanese vibraphonist, arranger, and leader. He learned organ from an early age, studied arranging at the age of 15, and took up piano and vibraphone to play in an extracurricular college big band, the High Society Orchestra, at Waseda University in Tokyo. After gaining his degree in electrical engineering (1984) he had private lessons on vibraphone, first in Japan and then in the USA with Gary Burton, the latter while majoring in composition at the Berklee College of Music. He graduated from Berklee in 1988 and returned to Japan. In 1990 he formed his own trio and orchestra, consisting mainly of younger musicians – including schoolmates from Berklee; the orchestra may be heard on Riverside Music Garden (1997, Tei. 28513). Katori has also performed with Yosuke Yamashita (from 1998) and recorded with Mal Waldron (the album Classics, 1999, Tokuma 71621). He is regarded as one of the most talented Japanese arrangers of his generation, and he maintains an active studio career. (...

Article

Yozo Iwanami and Kazunori Sugiyama

[Poo(-sun)]

(b Tokyo, March 23, 1940; d Manhasset, NY, July 6, 2015). Japanese pianist, composer, and leader. He learned solfeggio from the age of five, took piano lessons from the age of seven, studied composition when he was 13, and attended the high school attached to the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. In 1958 he worked with the tenor saxophonist Takatoshi Oya and the Highway Sons and with a quartet led by Shungo Sawada; his early style as a pianist and composer was influenced by Thelonious Monk. In 1961 he became a member, with Masayuki Takayanagi, Masahiko Togashi, and Hideto Kanai, of the quartet Jazz Academy and worked with Lionel Hampton. He became active as a leader in 1965, played with Sadao Watanabe in 1965–6, and in 1967, with Terumasa Hino, formed a quintet of which the two became joint leaders. Kikuchi left this group the following year and recorded with Charlie Mariano in Tokyo, toured Japan with Sonny Rollins, and then went to the USA to study at the Berklee School of Music. He played with Charles Mingus in ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Leonidovich )

(b Chita, Russia, April 2, 1916; d Oct 13, 2005). Russian composer and bandleader. He lived from 1921 in Harbin, China, where with local Russian musicians in 1934 he formed a band that played jazz and dance music at dance halls in Shanghai and on the islands of Hangchow Bay; he also played piano and studied violin at a local music school, from which he graduated in 1935. Later he graduated from the High Technical Centre of Shanghai as an architectural engineer (1944). In 1947 he repatriated his band to the USSR. Having been refused permission to settle in Moscow, the group played at a workers’ club in Kazan, the capital of what was then the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic; in addition he studied composition and conducting at the Kazan State Conservatory (graduating in 1953). The 18-piece group worked professionally from 1956 and played jazz exclusively from ...

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

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

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

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 ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kyoto, Japan, Oct 20, 1957). Japanese pianist, leader, and arranger. He took piano lessons from the ages of four to 12, joined his father’s group, the Kyoto Bel-Ami All Stars, in 1974, and in 1977 moved to Tokyo. There he joined George Kawaguchi’s band and performed with Toshiyuki Honda’s group Burning Waves, Sadao Watanabe, a band co-led by Motohiko Hino and Joe Henderson (1988), Terumasa Hino, Yoshio Suzuki, Kimiko Itoh, Shunzo Ohno, and others. He recorded frequently with musicians in Los Angeles. His own groups included Noriki (1983–6), Pole Pole I’s (1988–90), and a trio (from 1998). Noriki maintains an active career as a studio musician and arranges music for films and television.

Article

Robert Pernet

[Paquet, Pierre ]

(b Brussels, Aug 8, 1904; d Westende, Belgium, Dec 26, 1965). Belgian trumpeter, composer, and arranger. With his family he moved at an early age to China, where he first studied music. He returned in 1912 to Brussels, and despite an accident that left him without the use of one arm took up trumpet in 1924. In the following years he was a member of the Varsity Ramblers and, with David Bee, of the group Bistrouille ADO, as a member of which he wrote such compositions as Alabama Mamma, The Blue Duke, and Dixie Melody; the last named was recorded by the band in 1930 (Col. DF319). After Bee’s departure from the group early in 1927 Packay became its leader and devoted greater attention to composition. With several members of Bistrouille ADO he later formed a band called Packay’s Swing Academy, which accompanied Coleman Hawkins in Brussels; he also wrote arrangements for the American bandleader Billy Arnold. Packay recorded his piece ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Oct 6, 1941). Japanese pianist, composer, arranger, and leader. He studied violin and piano from the age of five, and while still in high school was a member of George Kawaguchi’s group Big Four (known during his membership as Big Four Plus One). After graduating from Keio University in Tokyo he studied at the Berklee School of Music (1966–8). He then returned to Tokyo, formed a trio, and recorded his first album, Palladium (1969), which was critically acclaimed. Also in Tokyo he recorded with Charles Mingus and Helen Merrill (1971), and in Germany he recorded as a leader (1971) and with Attila Zoller (1971), Karl Berger (1971), and Albert Mangelsdorff (1973). Sato’s best-known compositions include Samardhi, Fairy Rings, Fall Out (1972), Yamataifu (1972, played by Toshiyuki Miyama’s New Herd), ...

Article

W. Anthony Sheppard

[Takeshi ]

(b Sacramento, CA, Nov 11, 1922; d San Dimas, CA, April 17, 2002). American Jazz and film music arranger, composer, and band leader. Shindo grew up in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles where he heard traditional Japanese music. In his teens, he became interested in jazz but planned to pursue a career in electrical engineering. As a second generation (Nisei) Japanese American, Shindo was interned at the Manzanar Relocation Center in March 1942. He pursued musical studies in the camp and completed correspondence courses in orchestration. Shindo left Manzanar in November 1944 when he enlisted as a translator in the Military Intelligence Service. Discharged from the Army in 1947, he formed his own big band in Los Angeles.

Shindo continued musical studies at multiple institutions in Los Angeles, studying composition at the University of Southern California with miklós Rózsa and eventually completing a Masters in Asian Studies in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

[Colgen ]

(b Tokyo, May 26, 1940; d Tokyo, May 21, 2001). Japanese pianist, arranger, and leader. He took piano lessons from the age of 11, began to play jazz while attending Keio University, Tokyo, and made his début with George Kawaguchi’s Big Four. After playing with the Bluecoats, led by Shigenori Obara, and the quartet led by the drummer Akira Ishikawa he joined Terumasa Hino’s quintet in 1968, following the departure of Masabumi Kikuchi; thereafter he contributed greatly to the group’s success. From 1979 to 1986 he led a quintet, The Players, though he also led a trio and was active as a studio musician. Suzuki taught piano and arranging in Tokyo at Ann School of Music.

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, March 22, 1940; d Kanagawa, Japan, August 22, 2007). Japanese drummer, percussionist, composer, and leader. His father played double bass. He learned violin from the age of six, took up drums and made his début as a drummer with his father’s swing band when he was 14, and then moved into other jazz styles. After playing bop with Sadao Watanabe and his Cozy Quartet (1956) and working with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Tony Scott (1950s) he formed the group Jazz Academy (1961), with Hideto Kanai, Masabumi Kikuchi, and Masayuki Takayanagi. He was active as a leader from 1965, when Yosuke Yamashita appeared as his sideman in what is considered to be the first Japanese free-jazz group, and he accompanied such visitors to Japan as Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Lee Morgan, and Blue Mitchell. An accident in 1969 left him unable to play drums, and the following year he played percussion exclusively; he also wrote compositions that show a strong oriental influence. Togashi resumed performing as a drummer in the mid-1970s and toured and recorded with Don Cherry and Charlie Haden in Europe in ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Nov 14, 1932). Japanese pianist, composer, and arranger. He began his career performing Hawaiian music on steel guitar, and then, while still in high school, played jazz piano with the Ichiban Octet, led by the tenor saxophonist Shin Matsumoto. In 1956 he joined the Cozy Quartet when Toshiko Akiyoshi left the band and Sadao Watanabe took over its leadership. In 1959 he formed his own group, which the following year recorded music by Thelonious Monk, in whose work he had taken a keen interest. He recorded with Charlie Mariano and Hidehiko Matsumoto (1964) and then began working as a composer and arranger; he also recorded with Helen Merrill (1969). Later he led a jazz-rock ensemble, continued to lead a bop group, and recorded as a leader (1976). Yagi’s best-known composition is Oniwa soto, fukuwa uchi (Demons go away, happiness come in); his others include ...