Tokyo Union

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Tatsuya Takahashi and The Tokyo Union (also credited as Tokyo Union Big Band and Tokyo Union Orchestra) 高橋達也と東京ユニオン were one of Japan's best known big bands. [1]

The Tokyo Union was created in 1964, under the leadership of alto-saxophonist Ryusuke Nomura, and as such represents one of Japan's oldest performing jazz ensembles.[ citation needed ] Tatsuya Takahashi, tenor saxophonist, became the leader in 1966. [2] Under Takahashi's leadership, Tokyo Union has toured internationally including several appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the first being in 1978. [3] Their awards include "Jazz Record of the Year" in 1978 and "Best Big Band" for nine years running in Japan's influential Swing Journal [4] [5]

They traveled to California in 1980, playing with Herbie Hancock, Slide Hampton and Richie Cole, prior to performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and then recording their album "Black Pearl" in San Francisco. [6]


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  1. Minor, William (2004). Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within. University of Michigan Press. p. 221. ISBN   9780472113453.
  2. "Tokyo Union". Grove Music Online. 1 January 2003. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J451700.
  3. Hennessey, Mark (5 August 1978). "Montreux Fest - Big, International And Electric". Billboard.
  4. Zen Records, LP insert "Montreaux The Best '78"", 1978.
  5. ProJazz records, CD insert, 1986.
  6. 1 2 McDonough, Jack (8 November 1980). "Tokyo Union: Japanese Jazz Band's Album Guests Hancock, Cole, Hampton". Billboard.
  7. Atkins, E. Taylor (2001). Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan. Duke University Press. p. 353. ISBN   9780822380030.