Sadao Watanabe, sax
Lawrence Fields, piano
Yasushi Nakamura, bass
Greg Hutchinson, drums
Saxophonist Sadao Watanabe's primary influences are Charlier Parker and Gary McFarland. His recordings are a mix of Brazilian fusion and classic bebop.
He joined Toshiko Akiyoshi's quartet in 1953. He took over the band in 1956 when Toshiko left to study at Berklee. In 1962 Watanabe followed suit to Berklee. He spent 3 years in the US and made his mark working with Gary McFarland and Chico Hamilton.
Through the decades, he has become one of the strongest musical influences in Japan. He has played at the Newport and Montreux Jazz Festivals as well as performances in Africa and Bombay. He was the first Japanese jazz musician to receive a National Award in Japan.
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