Toshiko Akiyoshi / Lew Tabackin Big Band: Strive For Jive


Strive For Jive


Toshiko Akiyoshi / Lew Tabackin Big Band


Tales of a Courtesan (Oirantan) (RCA JP 1 0723)

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Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano), Lew Tabackin (reeds),

Richard Cooper, Steve Huffsteter, Mike Price, Bobby Shew (trumpets), Charles Loper, Bill Reichenbach, Jr., Jim Sawyers, Phil Teele, Britt Woodman (trombones), Gary Foster, Bill Perkins, Tom Peterson, Dick Spencer (reeds), Don Baldwin (bass), Peter Donald (drums)


Composed by Toshiko Akiyoshi


Recorded: December 1-3, 1975


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band originated in Los Angeles in 1973. During the early '80s, wife Akiyoshi and husband Tabackin relocated to New York, revamping the group with new personnel and a new name: The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin. Until the group officially disbanded in 2003, they recorded 20+ masterful big band works and amassed an enormous list of honors and awards. Just take their Down Beat Critic's Poll wins as evidence: Best Big Band every year from 1979-1983; Best Arranger (Akiyoshi) of 1979, 1982, 1990, 1995 and 1996; and Best Composer (Akiyoshi) of 1981 and 1982.

"Strive for Jive" is an early track from the group's West Coast days. The most palpable initial impression is certainly Akiyoshi's arranging skills. Check out the shout chorus on this up-tempo bop chart very few arrangers could approach the swinging superiority of an Akiyoshi shout-chorus. And her piano playing ain't bad, either. A classic track from one of the under-publicized giants of the modern big band.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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