Monthly Record Guide: Jazz (2)

Jazz Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band: ''European Memoirs.'' Toshiko Akiyoshi, piano; Bob Bowman, bass; Joey Baron, drums. Trumpets: Buddy Childers, Larry Ford, Steve Huffsteter, Mike Price. Trombones: Hart Smith, Dave Bowman, Bruce Fowler. Bass trombone: Phil Teele. Reeds: Matt Catingub, Bob Sheppard, Lew Tabackin, John Gross, Bill Byrne. (Ascent ASC 1003) - ''European Memoirs,'' previously released in Japan, is, as Lew Tabackin states in the liner notes, '' . . . a kind of diary of our band's second tour of Europe, in the fall of 1981 .'' The pieces are programmatic in nature and provide an Akiyoshi-eye view of places that struck this composer-arranger. ''Feast in Milano'' is an intriguing Latin-flavored piece in 15/8 time. ''Relaxing at Zell-Am-See,'' which features a beautifully constructed solo by Tabackin, was inspired by a stay in a ski lodge in the Alps. An evening in Paris watching old films of pianist Bud Powell brought about ''Remembering Bud,'' which features some of Akiyoshi's beautifully ethereal writing for five flutes. But the most ambitious of these works, which occupies the entire second half of the album, is ''Two Faces of a Nation,'' a two-part piece that describes Germany before the war - and then the horror of Nazi Germany. After the carefree theme of the first half, the second half moves to a chilling free--improvised climax, accompanied by voices from Japanese no drama, and finally ends in a chilling statement by the full band. These recordings are available by mail. Send inquiry to Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin, 38 West 94th Street, New York, N.Y. 10025.

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