Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z

Oda, Satoru

Oda, Satoru, tenor saxophonist, b. Fukuoka prefecture, Japan, 27 September 1927.

Known to European festival audiences as "Japan's Lester Young," Oda has been a consistent advocate for good-time Kansas City swing.  His musical career began in 1943 as a clarinetist in a navy band; he first heard jazz in his ship's gun room, over an intercepted short-wave radio broadcast from the US.  He began studying the music immediately after Japan's surrender, performing in US servicemen's camps in Beppu and eventually heading to Tokyo in 1947.  He was an early mentor of Akiyoshi Toshiko.  After playing with Tokyo Jive, the Gay Septet, and the Midnight Suns, Oda formed his own band, the Pres Nine, in 1955 and has been performing under his own name ever since at clubs such as Birdland. Jimmy Lyons took a special interest in Oda and put him on the bill of the Monterey Jazz Festival for several years.  Oda has recorded with Hank Jones and performed with avant-gardist Yosuke Yamashita.

Bibliography:
Oda Satoru, Sake to bara no hibi (The Days of Wine and Roses); Nagoya: Efe Shuppan, 1993.

BY ATKINS

Back to Top