Actually Junko Onishi had a several times performances at BLUE NOTE TOKYO, however, “JUNKO ONISHI presents the Orchestra on May 28, 2021” was a great achievement for her indeed of playing in her orchestra. When she used to stay in US in her 20s, she joined in Mingus big band, Dizzy Gillespie big band…..It was said that she respects Duke Ellington and Gil Evans very much.
On the day, she was just a producer and no play at piano, and adopted 3 great musicians arrangements.Yosuke Inoue, Akihiro Yoshimoto and Miki Hirose.
The great musicians are;
Yosuke Inoue (b), Akihiro Yoshimoto (sax), Miki Hirose (tp), Yusuke Sase (tp), Mitsuhiro Wada (tb), Shigetaka Ikemoto (tb), Hiroyuki Aochi (btb), David Negrete (sax), Yu Kuga (bs), Kazuhiro Takemoto (p),Sugadairo (p), Atsushi Matsunaga (tuba), Yukihiro Nakazawa (hr), Shu Homma (ob), Yoshie Sato (bcl), Takayoshi Baba (g), Shogo Hamada (ds), Naoki Takahashi (ds), Gen Ogimi (perc)
It was in 1993, I got a clear memory that there appeared a strong and flesh pianist with new album, “WOW”. There was a great response.
Since then she had been establishing the great achievement one by one..
However, suddenly she announced RETIREMENT on 2012.
There was very famous story that when she performed her the last session in jazz club, Mr.Seiichi Ozawa and Mr.Haruki Murakami visited there. On around the last tune when she was making some speech, suddenly Mr Ozawa stood up and shouting, “NOT ACCEPTABLE !!”.
After that, there were several support of course including from Mr.Ozawa, and once she joined his concert at Saito Kinen Orchestra in 2013.
Also there was a strong support from Terumasa Hino as well. There was a 50years Anniversary Concert of Shinjuku Pit Inn on Dec.27 2015. On Terumasa Hino’s stage, he invited Junko Onishi as a surprising guest !! His speech introducing her come back was so nice. What a cool and gentle musician Hino-san is !!