About Akio Sasajima
Japan's Akio Sasajima is an adept guitarist and teacher with a bent toward adventurous post-bop and straight-ahead and fusion jazz. Born in 1952 in Hakodate, Japan, Sasajima was largely self-taught, having studied the work of artists like Baden Powell and Wes Montgomery. He also found work translating Berklee School of Music textbooks, through which he imbibed music theory. Early in his career, Sasajima gigged around Sapporo, often with saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. He also spent time working in Tokyo before moving to the United States in the late '70s, eventually settling in Chicago. Over the years, he has played with a bevy of name artists including Randy Brecker, Jimmy Cobb, Eddie Gomez, and many others. When not performing, he also works as a teacher and spent three years on the faculty at DePaul University. Since the mid-2000s, Sasajima has lived and worked in Southern California.
As a solo artist, Sasajima debuted in 1988 with Akio with Joe Henderson, which featured the legendary jazz saxophonist. A year later, he delivered A Time Remembered. The guitarist's recorded output increased somewhat over the next decade beginning with 1991's Akioustically Sound. He then joined vocalist Eden Atwood for No One Ever Tells You, followed in 1993 by his own Humpty Dumpty. A year later, he paired with drummer Joel Spencer on Interior Window. Sasajima next returned to the studio for 2006's Two for the Muse, a duo album featuring bassist Ron Carter. In 2014, he paired with harpist Motoshi Kosako on the album Night Time Jazz Harp, for which they toured Japan. Two years later, he explored jazz reworkings of classic songs from the Beatles with Images of Lennon / McCartney on Tonegold. ~ Matt Collar