5 Japanese Big Bands

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When many American big-band singers toured Japan and Australia in the early 1960s, musical directors brought along the arrangements rather than 18 to 21 musicians. In some cases it was cheaper. In other situations, countries had regulations that insisted their own musicians were hired for the job. Like Australia, Japan had top-notch big-band players and still do. Here are five videos featuring terrific Japanese bands:

Here's Anita O'Day in 1963...



Here are the Four Freshmen in 1964...



Here are the Four Freshmen again...



And more recently, here's champion flutist Ali Ryerson with the Japan Jazz Flute Big Band...



Here's Bill Watrous and the Masaru Uchibori Big Band...



And here's BFJO Takasago, a Japanese all-female jazz band, ...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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