Following the release of her 2003 Telarc debut, 'Another Mind', pianist Hiromi Uehara has electrified audiences around the globe with her creative energy. Subsequent albums were largely electric fusion in style but 2009 saw the focus clearly on acoustic settings in separate, well-received, collaborations with high profile jazzmen Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. Her stunning new CD, 'Place To Be', is her first solo piano recording.
Since the beginning of the decade she has supported her impressive body of studio work with an ambitious tour schedule and her new recording sets out to chronicle just a few of the many places and moments where she has experienced the almost mystical exchange between performer and audience.
This includes the frenetic "BQE" (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) which opens the recording, a reprise of "Sicilian Blue" from the CD with Stanley Clarke and the spirited "Berne, Baby, Berne!", a nod to Marian's Jazzroom a club in Bern, Switzerland. By way of contrast there is a playful take on Pachelbel's Canon, the three-part "Viva! Vegas" suite and the melodic title track which closes the set.
In addition to being a musical travelogue Hiromi's new CD is also a personal milestone as it was recorded just three days before her thirtieth birthday in March 2009. There's no doubt that she has now established herself as one of the most vibrant performers on today's jazz scene and 'Place To Be' will only continue to enhance her reputation with both fans and critics alike.
(4 stars) Dazzling recital...she has a solid grounding in, and thorough command of the jazz piano tradition. -- BBC Music Magazine, (Barry Witherden), April 2010
Mind-boggling piece of solo virtuosity...switches between boogies, stride-piano stomps and bop swing without a blink. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), February 19, 2010
Swinging through the blues, stride and bebop...he sudden switches of mood and tempo are exhilarating...high-velocity fun. -- The Times, (John Bungey), March 27, 2010
The playing is virtuosic but not at the expense of musicality...an extraordinary unique talent...developing into a composer of great merit. -- Keyboard Player, (John Bates), March 2010