b. 24 December 1931, Yamagata, Japan. As a young man Takahashi played saxophones, becoming a professional musician in the early 50s. He became well known in Japan as a tenor player and, eventually, as a band leader. In 1966 he formed his big band, Tokyo Union, a powerhouse outfit with a strong, rhythmic pulse and often fearsome playing from the brass. Takahashi’s solo style is strong, with a mainstream bent. His high standards of musicianship are demonstrated by the well-rehearsed band he leads.