I recently learned of this woman, this amazing musician and pianist named Toshiko Akiyoshi, by way of a certain NPR broadcast. Those of you who know of her already may say something like, "How have you not heard of her, Gregoíre?" It doesn't matter much. There's a lot that I haven't heard yet.
I am glad to know of her, now.
The thing that struck me the most after a short while of reading about her was that she had a piano teacher who encouraged her to learn pieces forward and backward to get more intimately involved and aware of the music. Interesting. I hope her playing and compositions strike a chord with you.