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Pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara's passionate and incendiary keyboard work has been a shining light on the jazz landscape since her 2003 debut. This nine-song trio recording, featuring bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, expresses a whole range of human emotions but without the aid of a single lyric. A mesmerizing instrumentalist in her own right, Hiromi enlists the aid of two equally formidable players for this project. Bassist Anthony Jackson (Paul Simon, The O'Jays, Steely Dan, Chick Corea) had previously played on a couple tracks from each of Hiromi's first two albums Another Mind in 2003 and Brain in 2004 but they had never recorded an entire album together. Drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour, Jack Bruce) came highly recommended by Stanley Clarke, the legendary jazz fusion bassist who gave her a prime spot on his two most recent projects, Jazz in the Garden in 2009 and The Stanley Clarke Band in 2010. The trio performs eight of Hiromi's original compositions plus her arrangement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No.8. The album is completed with 'Haze', a solo piano track which is just what the title suggests a shimmering piece whose melodic edges are sometimes sharp and other times undefined. Personnel: Hiromi (piano, keyboards), Anthony Jackson ( contrabass guitar), Simon Phillips (drums)
One of jazz's most remarkable keyboard virtuosi...it's hard to resist the childlike glee with which she does it all. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), July 1, 2011
Top Customer Reviews
But Hiromi, thankfully, has been recording frequently ever since she emerged in the early 2000s, and she has been wise enough to record in a variety of settings.
Hiromi has recorded unaccompanied, as well as in duos and trios; she has played in both electric groups and acoustic groups, and she has provided straight-ahead post-bop as well as fusion.
"Voice" is best described as an electro-acoustic effort that is more post-bop than fusion but has its rock-influenced moments.
Forming a trio with Anthony Jackson on electric bass and Simon Phillips on drums, Hiromi is heard on both acoustic piano and electric keyboards but pays more attention to the former.
And while this 2010 recording may not be ideal from the perspective of a rigid jazz purist or a bop snob, Hiromi's outlook is very much the outlook of a jazz improviser>
The fact that she, Jackson, and Phillips bring some rock muscle to some of the material doesn't negate that.
Hiromi is undeniably imaginative on an intriguing performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minus, Opus 13", aka "Sonata Pathétique", which goes back to 1798.
Or course, there was no jazz in Beethoven's time; if one agrees that jazz started when cornetist Buddy Bolden formed his first band in New Orleans in 1895, then jazz was a little over 100 years away from being created when Beethoven composed "Sonata Pathétique".Read more ›
Quite frankly this is magnificent, Hiromi's talent and virtuosity is spellbinding, without being cold and vulgar (Lang Lang I'm looking at you) and yes she can play quietly and beautifully as well as loud and fast.
Anthony Jackson's bass backs Hiromi up perfectly, and although Steve Smith is playing a majority of the live dates, Simon Phillips is certainly no slouch either, and the drumming here is exquisite, not least the frantic double-pedalling that pops up from time to time.
Stand-out tracks include the opening title track, Labyrinth (a previous version of which having appeared on the Stanley Clarke band album, though for my mind this one's better) and Devotion (which feels like an album closer proper before the perhaps a bit too abrupt change of pace with the Beethoven Pathetique Sonata version). Special mention to the solo piano track Haze which is almost restrained. Almost.
I love this album so much I bought 10 copies and gave them out to my friends.
In the words of the great lady herself: "Music purifies every emotion and makes them positive. Anything pathetic, all worries, and all sadness." Indeed, Hiromi, indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heard her with this "trio project" and went and bought the albums the same day.. I love this music.Published 15 months ago by M. Fredriksson
I just love Hiromi. She has her own style and even when playing stuff I don't particularly like I have to admire her amazing tallentPublished 19 months ago by Jack Pomfret
Great virtuosity and mix of styles from this young emerging talent in jazz. Full of energy.Published 19 months ago by Oliver S.