barabara sounds sez:
Autumn's here: time for one of my favorite seasonal snacks. Great with beer, even better with sake, and perfect too with Toshiko's peerless big band music. This one (on Baystate from 1978) is particularly nutritious. It's a 16-piece aggregation, but they played together so much over the course of that decade that they sound like one seamless unit.
The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Orchestra's first few recordings were made for RCA (usually released first in Japan and then later in the U.S.) but, after that association ended in 1978, most of the big band's recordings ended up being released by their own private Ascent label. The orchestra (based in Los Angeles) was one of the finest big bands of the era, as can be heard on this superior outing with Akiyoshi on piano, Tabackin displaying very different styles on tenor and flute, altoists Gary Foster and Dick Spencer, and trumpeter Bobby Shew. The leader's arrangements reflect both her roots in swinging bop and her Asian heritage. Highlights of the excellent set are "Chasing After Love" (based on "Lover"), the lyrical "Elusive Dream," and "Son of Road Time."
There's lots more about Toshiko over here on Susan Fleet's web site.
And All About Jazz has some nice interviews, including this one here...