Mariano, Toshiko: Toshiko Mairano Quartet (Vinyl LP)
Mariano, Toshiko: Toshiko Mairano Quartet (Vinyl LP)

Mariano, Toshiko: Toshiko Mairano Quartet (Vinyl LP)

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Toshiko Mariano Quartet is the 1961 album from fourteen time Grammy Nominated pianist and composer Toshiko Akiyoshi - then known as Toshiko Mariano. Women have long been denied the credit they deserve in jazz. It must be noted that as a Japanese women in jazz, Akiyoshi had to battle for acceptance on many fronts. Jazz has been a patriarchy community from the beginning, and even critical praise of her playing could not help but take note of her gender. Leonard Feather, for example, writing at the time in the Encyclopedia of Jazz called out Akiyoshi's playing as "fiery, powerfully articulated and exceptionally fluent," but added that there was "nothing delicately feminine."

Even today it is still hard for people to see Jazz in any other way. We are pleased to be a part of shifting the narrative and shine a spotlight on this talented artist and this wonderful album. While she was later to compose using themes, harmonies, and instruments connected to her Japanese heritage, this album captures the pianist early in her career playing a straight ahead, hard bop style. This was already her 7th album as a band leader, and it is a shining example of her confidence and mastery of her instrument and as a band leader. Recorded at the Nola Penthouse Studios in New Your City in December of 1960, the LP includes extraordinary liner notes by Candid A&R man and producer Nat Hentoff giving a context and insight that adds to the experience of hearing these extraordinary performances.

  1. When You Meet Her
  2. Little T
  3. Toshiko's Elegy
  4. Deep River
  5. Long Yellow Road

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