Music: Jazz Import

When she opened in Manhattan last week, a pressagent told Toshiko that she should wear a kimono all the time because she was, after all, the only female jazz pianist from Japan. As a concession, she wears a kimono on Saturday nights (the obi is apt to be too tight for really freewheeling playing, she complains), but the rest of the time she performs in Western cocktail dresses. Behind the piano at the Hickory House, across the way from West 52nd Street's sagging strip joints, Toshiko Akiyoshi demonstrates that she need not rely on costume for her success. Her own songs—Between...

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