Archive for the Hiromi UEHARA Category

Hiromi's Sonicbloom – Estival Jazz Switzerland (Live) 2007

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ on December 9, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi’s Sonicbloom – Estival Jazz Switzerland (Live) 2007
Estival Jazz, Piazzale Alla Valle,
Mendrisio, Switzerland, June 30, 2007
Bootleg. Lossless Digital.

Jazz

Say no more about Hiromi,just listen…
themonk
**
Hiromi Uehara- Piano, Keyboards
David Fiuczynski- Guitar
Tony Grey- Bass
Martin Valihora- Drums
**
01. Time Out (07:23)
02. Time Travel (13:58)
03. Deep into the Night (09.53)
04. Time and Space (10:43)
05. Time Flies (11:19)
06. Time Control (11:16)
07. Time Difference (07:29)
**

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Hiromi UEHARA – Another Mind 2003

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ on December 3, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi UEHARA – Another Mind 2003

Jazz

I hate to take on George Colligan, a jazz pianist for whom I have the absolute highest respect, and someone who has made some very fine recordings for the Dutch CrissCross label and Spanish Fresh Sounds label. But what’s going on in his review of this disc, professional jealousy? Sounds like it to me. And it’s perfectly understandable that an artist possessed of true genius who finds himself playing second fiddle to someone who–let’s be honest, here–really doesn’t understand jazz as Colligan does would react as he does. But that doesn’t make it OK.
…Phenomena like Hiromi–players with monster chops and only a sketchy concept of True Jazz–are going to come along. Perhaps they will even be snatched up by major labels while musicians possessing actual genius–musicians like George Colligan–will be relegated to marginal labels like Fresh Sounds…Does that make Hiromi bogus, a one-star artist, as Colligan in his review rates her? The answer is a resounding NO! OK, there’s a bit of flash and empty virtuosity in her stuff. Nevertheless, SHE CAN PLAY. Check out her way bloozy number, “Joy.” Plus, she’s got a generous dollop of funk in her (see “010101”). Do you deny it, George? If she can’t play, why would someone like Ahmad Jamal praise her up one side and down the other? Are you saying, George, that Ahmad Jamal, a pianist of the absolute highest standing in the jazz world, has sold out his opinion, that he doesn’t really mean what he says when he lavishes praise on Hiromi?
Bottom line:
I have listened to this disc numerous times, and I find it to be perfectly creditable. Yes, Hiromi needs seasoning and depth. Yes, she is probably where she is as much from hype and good looks as she is from strictly jazz pianism. And those who find themselves relegated to second-class status while she enjoys jazz ascendancy probably have a right to feel slighted. But you know what? DEAL WITH IT. And don’t downgrade someone else’s success just because you haven’t received your due recompense. That’s small minded. And we expect more from our jazz geniuses than that.
By Jan P. Dennis.
**
I have to admit to being somewhat confused by the negative reviews. It’s strange to think that this CD gets blasted for being “not jazz.” Considering the vast range of styles that “jazz” encompasses, I think that the negative reviewers are generally rabid traditionalists.
To my ears, this CD is a refreshing breath of air. I tend to prefer music that shies away from tonality, but this CD set me straight. Tonal music has plenty to offer us still.
Hiromi’s playing is an odd blend. It’s virtuosic, to say the least, but is well-balanced by a fabulous ear for melody. In fact, in the midst of her runs are melodic lines that are so starkly beautiful and personal that they almost sound cheesy.
Almost.
This CD ultimately contains some of the most breathtaking playing that’s been released this year. Tracks like Dancando No Paraiso are hair raising chops fests (and I mean that in a good way).
Hiromi’s playing avoids the rut that many young players fall into – all flash and no soul. In her playing, there is a constant exuberance and joy that is devoid of ego gratification. She performs well with her group, and melds her sound to fit theirs. Think Chick Corea instead of Oscar Peterson. Both have incredible technique, but only one of them knows how to work in a group.
As a composer, she gives away her age somewhat. “010101 (binary system)” is a mildly irritating romp on the synth, but even that has a youthful charm.
This is a great album, and Hiromi is a performer to keep one’s eye out for. She’s headed for greatness.
By S. Hawkins.
**
“Hiromi continues to change the musical landscape everywhere she performs,” says pianist Ahmad Jamal, who co-produced Another Mind (along with veteran bassist/ arranger/producer and Berklee professor Richard Evans) and has taken an active interest in her career. “Her music, together with her overwhelming charm and spirit, causes her to soar to unimaginable musical heights. She is nothing short of amazing.”
**
01. XYZ 5:37
02. Double Personality 11:57
03. Summer Rain 6:07
04. Joy 8:29
05. 010101 (Binary System) 8:23
06. Truth and Lies 7:20
07. Dancando No Paraiso 7:39
08. Another Mind 8:44
09. The Tom and Jerry Show 6:05
**

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Hiromi UEHARA – Hiromi’s SonicBloom Newport Jazz Festival 2009

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ on December 2, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi UEHARA – Hiromi’s SonicBloom Newport Jazz Festival 2009
Bootleg
Fm Broadcast

Jazz

Hiromi started learning classical piano at age 5. She was introduced to jazz by her piano teacher Noriko Hakita when she was 8. At age 14, she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. When she was 17, she met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day. After being a jingle writer for a few years for Japanese companies such as Nissan, she enrolled to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts [1] . There, she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and had already signed with jazz label Telarc before her graduation.

Since her debut in 2003, Hiromi has toured the world and appeared in numerous jazz festivals. She performed live at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 8, 2009.
**
Hiromi Uehara-  Piano, keyboards
Tony Grey- Bass
Mauricio Zottarelli- Drums
John Shannon- Guitar
**
01. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise 10:27
02. Led Boots 9:11
03. Claire de Lune 9:19
04. Unknown 12:28
05. Piano Solo 6:38
06. Caravan 15:25
07. Unknown 9:45
**

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Hiromi UEHARA's Sonicbloom – Live at XI Festival de Jazz de San Javier 2008 (AVI)

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ, MOVIES on November 27, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi UEHARA’s Sonicbloom – Live at XI Festival de Jazz de San Javier 2008 (AVI)
Broadcast date: 03 September 2008 on Spanish TVE2

Jazz

I have listen over 150 different or more versions of CARAVAN.
But, nothing like in this concert of Hiromi.
Just can´t hold my tears going down, every time I watch this Dvd.
themonk.
**
Few artist have caused such an impression since their debut album as the young japanese pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara spectacular in her concerts. she attacks the keys like a cyclone, with the strength of nature, transmitting energy and passion when the song requires it, or radiating sensebility and sweetness in ballads.
she is also a great and prolific composer, as shown by her five albums: Another Mind, Brain, Spiral, Time Control or the very latest one – Beyond Standarts, in which the two usual members of her trio, bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora are joined by the fantastic guitarist David Fiuczynski forming the group: Hiromi’s Sonicbloom, who will also be accompanying her on her return to jazz de san javier where she left some very good memories after her performance in the eighth edition of the festival.
**
HIROMI UEHARA— Piano,Keyboard
DAVID FIUCZYNSKI— Guitar
TONY GREY— Bass
JORDAN PERLSON— Drums
**
01. Time Travel
02. Claire de Lune
03. Ue Wo Muite Aruko
04. Band Introduction
05. I’ve Got Rhythm
06. Caravan
07. Time Out
**

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Chick COREA & Hiromi UEHARA – Duet Chick & Hiromi 2007

Posted in Chick COREA, Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ on November 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Chick COREA & Hiromi UEHARA – Duet Chick & Hiromi 2007

Jazz

Chick Corea is not only a highly imaginative and prolific recording artist, but the world-renowned pianist also loves to walk the tight wire without a net. His latest project of jazz daring-so is Duet, a two-CD live performance with up-and-coming pianist Hiromi, recorded live in 2007 at the Blue Note in Tokyo.

Duet is a masterwork of remarkable pianists of two different generations and cultures who transcend all boundaries to converse with each other with an exuberance and passion. The first CD features an original by each pianist (Corea’s “Humpty Dumpty” treated to a new rowdy rendering of skips, scrambles and nimble tumbles, and Hiromi’s “Déja Vu” brought to a higher tier with the duo imagining new twists and turns) as well as four covers, including tunes by Bill Evans (“Very Early”), Thelonious Monk (“Bolivar Blues”), Antonio Carlos Jobim (“How Insensitive”) and Lennon-McCartney (“Fool on the Hill”). On CD No. 2, each pianist brings to the set two originals (Corea: “Windows” and “Do Mo: Children’s Song #12”; Hiromi Uehara: “Place to Be” and “Old Castle”). They also cover “Summertime” with a reharmonized beauty and adventurously meld Joaquin Vidre Rodrigo’s classic “Concierto de Aranjuez” with one of Corea’s best-known tunes, “Spain.” The performance is so exhilaratingly rhythmic that the crowd claps in glee while the two pianists captivate on the keys. The music features pockets of spiraling dance and torrid zigzagging as well as teems with gentle lyricism and sublime wonderment. It’s no wonder that Duet, originally released in Japan in 2007 on Universal, became the top-selling jazz album of the year there. It also marked for Corea his first acoustic-piano duo performance since he and Herbie Hancock recorded their classic In Concert 1978 album live at Tokyo’s Budokan.

Because Duet soared in popularity, Corea and Hiromi decided to meet again—this time not in the intimate confines of a club, but at the outdoor Budokan stadium. Writing on his website, Corea said, “It was wild to see 5,500 people in attendance for the piano duet with Hiromi, the brilliant, young Japanese pianist and composer. Our three days at the Tokyo Blue Note became the double CD…and the interest [in it] seemed to warrant a try at a larger audience.” Corea continued: “I wasn’t sure how an audience that large in a venue that sprawling would receive our duet, which was conceived as an intimacy, largely improvised and for a jazz-wise public. Well, what a surprise when the audience calmly and appreciatively took in the almost two-hour concert with great interest and standing-ovation approval. I was so happy to see that this could happen in this day and age, and then thought, ‘Well, the Japanese have such an artistic culture.’”
**
Combined with his abilities as a soloist, Chick Corea’s uncanny accompanist’s instinct for supporting and focusing the spotlight on another player’s efforts has produced celebrated duets with everyone from Gary Burton and Herbie Hancock to John McLaughlin and Bela Fleck. With Hiromi Uehara he has done it again.

Duet captures the two pianists in an engagement at Tokyo’s Blue Note club in September of 2007, and finds them repeatedly achieving ecstatic heights of ingenuity and inventiveness. At first blush the opening tracks might feel too quiet as an introduction to the Sturm und Drang of this dynamic pairing, but if the anticipated energy, the bounding, rampaging, red-eyed thunder-and-lightning this partnership promises to deliver is not immediately evident as the first of two discs opens with Bill Evans’ “Very Early” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “How Insensitive,” don’t touch that dial…

Once these two get their hands warm on “Déjà Vu,” the first of Hiromi’s contributed compositions, they ignite things with a respectfully deconstructed version of “Fool on the Hill” that hews neatly to the lilting Lennon/McCartney melody line and harmonies right up until the closing three bars, when Corea unexpectedly plucks a few portentous notes inside the piano. The cubist conflagration long-time Corea fans perennially yearn for then flares dramatically on a joyful, abstracted version of his enduring “Humpty Dumpty,” ending with his throwing down fistfuls of Cecil Taylor-esque tennis-ball chords, and his protégé enthusiastically throwing them right back. When he next engages Hiromi in some gravity-defying rhythmning on Thelonious Monk’s “Bolivar Blues,” the first disc’s final track, it is plain she’s in a mood to play.

A meandering “Windows” opens the second disc, but then it’s off again on a stunning steeplechase of a composition, Hiromi’s “Old Castle, by the River, in the Middle of a Forest,” featuring some vintage unison dressage. By the time the last notes are sounded they are both energized and ready for a quirkily non-traditional distillation of “Summertime,” using the Gershwin standard to continue widening the degree of abstraction as they travel through a sublimely ordered track sequence (a good argument in favor of albums, and against selective MP3 downloads). Musically, the end of “Summertime” dovetails into Hiromi’s evanescent “Place to Be,” which manages to slow the heart rate a few more beats per second before the disc concludes with a free-playing romp on Corea’s “Children’s Song #12,” re-titled “Do Mo,” and finally, an off-kilter rendition of “Concierto de Aranjuez/Spain” to provide an insouciantly perfect coda.
**
Every once in a while, a CD comes across my desk that I dig, and I just can’t put into words why. (I like to believe that it’s more about some mystical quality of the music and less about vocabulary limitations.) Chick Corea and Hiromi’s Duet is one such CD. Recorded by two masterful, rather flexible jazz pianists, it’s somewhat of an old guard meets new guard. Chick Corea, of course, has been around since the late 60s and has had a hand in the development of several jazz genres and helped bring electric pianos and synthesizers into the jazz mainstream. I’d never heard of Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara until hearing this duet album, but this and videos of her various solo compositions have definitely caught my attention.

Part of the issue with phrasing my opinion of the CD is: how can you write about something like two pianists in a live setting bouncing off of each other? Unlike Corea’s 2007 duet with Bela Fleck, The Enchantment, this double-album was recorded live at the Tokyo Blue Note. In a studio jazz setting, even if all of the takes are recorded with all instruments at once, it’s still possible to pick the best take for an album; in the live setting, there’s no way to bring it back, and there’s also a lot more energy from the crowd and from the musicians playing off each other.

With that in mind, and comparing it to the difference between The Enchantment and Corea and Fleck’s live performance, Duet is relatively restrained. The pieces go on for long times–the shortest piece, “The Fool on the Hill,” clocks in at just under 7 minutes, and the longest is barely shy of 15–but in there are very few places that feel self-indulgent. The end of “Humpty-Dumpty,” for instance, has a section which is basically a flurry of notes from both pianists with little semblance of harmonic structure, and on “Summertime,” the melody is only followed closely enough to remind the listener what the song is. There are a few songs which are attention-grabbing, such as “The Fool on the Hill” with a percussive groove (my first reaction was “pianos can make a sound like that?”), or the funky “Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are (Bolivar Blues).”

Put simply, this is an excellent piano jazz CD. The two show run the gamut from majestic flowing chords as can only be played on piano to saloon blues plinking, and all points between. If you’re a fan of either pianist, pick it up, and if you’re like me and had never heard of Hiromi before, make sure to check out some of her solo works as well.
By Dan Upton.
**
Cd 1
01. Very Early 9:13
02. How Insensitive 7:37
03. Déja Vu 9:01
04. Fool on the Hill 6:47
05. Humpty Dumpty 7:50
06. Bolivar Blues 8:46

Cd 2
01. Windows 7:45
02. Old Castle 14:57
03. Summertime 8:50
04. Place To Be 8:12
05. Do Mo -Children’s Song #12 13:02
06. Concierto de Aranjuez/Spain 12:12
**

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Hiromi UEHARA – Live,Shinagawa Aqua Stadium Stellar Ball, Tokyo 2005 (Mp3 + Avi)

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ, MOVIES on November 24, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi UEHARA – Live,Shinagawa Aqua Stadium Stellar Ball, Tokyo 2005 (Mp3 + Avi)

Jazz

Hiromi Ueharafirst mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind. The buzz started by her first album spread all the way back to her native Japan, where Another Mind shipped gold (100,000 units) and received the Recording Industry Association of Japan’s (RIAJ) Jazz Album of the Year Award. The keyboardist/ composer’s second release, Brain, won the Horizon Award at the 2004 Surround Music Awards, Swing Journal’s New Star Award, Jazz Life’s Gold Album, HMV Japan’s Best Japanese Jazz Album, and the Japan Music Pen Club’s Japanese Artist Award (the JMPC is a classical/jazz journalists club). Brain was also named Album of the Year in Swing Journal’s 2005 Readers Poll. In 2006, Hiromi won Best Jazz Act at the Boston Music Awards and the Guinness Jazz Festival’s Rising Star Award. She also claimed Jazzman of the Year, Pianist of the Year and Album of the Year in Swing Journal Japan’s Readers Poll for her 2006 release, Spiral. Hiromi continues her winning streak with the 2007 release of Time Control and in 2008, Beyond Standard. Both releases feature Hiromi’s super group, Sonic Bloom.
Born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1979, Hiromi took her first piano lessons at age six. She learned from her earliest teacher to tap into the intuitive as well as the technical aspects of music.
“Her energy was always so high, and she was so emotional,” Hiromi says of her first piano teacher. “When she wanted me to play with a certain kind of dynamics, she wouldn’t say it with technical terms. If the piece was something passionate, she would say, ‘Play red.’ Or if it was something mellow, she would say, ‘Play blue.’ I could really play from my heart that way, and not just from my ears.”
Hiromi took that intuitive approach a step further when she enrolled in the Yamaha School of Music less then a year after her first piano lessons. By age 12, she was performing in public, sometimes with very high-profile orchestras. “When I was 14, I went to Czechoslovakia and played with the Czech Philharmonic,” she says. “That was a great experience, to play with such a professional orchestra.”
Further into her teens, her tastes expanded to include jazz as well as classical music. A chance meeting with Chick Corea when she was 17 led to a performance with the well-known jazz pianist the very next day.
“It was in Tokyo,” Hiromi recalls. “He was doing something at Yamaha, and I was visiting Tokyo at the time to take some lessons. I talked to some teachers and said that I really wanted to see him. I sat down with him, and he said ‘Play something.’ So I played something, and then he said, ‘Can you improvise?’ I told him I could, and we did some two-piano improvisations. Then he asked me if I was free the next day. I told him I was, and he said, ‘Well, I have a concert tomorrow. Why don’t you come?’ So I went there, and he called my name at the end of the concert, and we did some improvisations together.”
After a couple years of writing advertising jingles for Nissan and a few other high-profile Japanese companies, Hiromi came to the United States in 1999 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. For as open as her musical sensibilities had already been when she came to the U.S., the Berklee experience pushed her envelope even further.
“It expanded so much the way I see music,” she says. “Some people dig jazz, some people dig classical music, some people dig rock. Everyone is so concerned about who they like. They always say, ‘This guy is the best,’ ‘No, this guy is the best.’ But I think everyone is great. I really don’t have barriers to any type of music. I could listen to everything from metal to classical music to anything else.”
Among her mentors at Berklee was veteran jazz bassist Richard Evans, who teaches arranging and orchestration. Evans co-produced Another Mind, her Telarc debut, with longtime friend and collaborator Ahmad Jamal, who has also taken a personal interest in Hiromi’s artistic development. “She is nothing short of amazing,” says Jamal. “Her music, together with her overwhelming charm and spirit, causes her to soar to unimaginable musical heights.”
At 26, Hiromi stands at the threshold of limitless possibility, constantly drawing inspiration from virtually everyone and everything around her. Her list of influences, like her music itself, is boundless. “I love Bach, I love Oscar Peterson, I love Franz Liszt, I love Ahmad Jamal,” she says. “I also love people like Sly and the Family Stone, Dream Theatre and King Crimson. Also, I’m so much inspired by sports players like Carl Lewis and Michael Jordan. Basically, I’m inspired by anyone who has big, big energy. They really come straight to my heart.”
But she won’t, as a matter of principle, put labels on her music. She’ll continue to follow whatever moves her, and leave the definitions to others.
“I don’t want to put a name on my music,” she says. “Other people can put a name on what I do. It’s just the union of what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don’t want to give it a name.”
**
Hiromi Uehara- Piano, Keyboards
Tony Grey- Bass
Martin Valihora- Drums
**
01.XYZ 6:47
02.Spiral 14:03
03.Old Castle, By The River, In The Middle Of a Forest 8:26
04.Reverse 13:38
05.IF 10:28
06.Return Of The Kung-Fu World Champion 9:16
07.Love And Laugther 10:51
**
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*
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Hiromi UEHARA – Brain 2004

Posted in Hiromi UEHARA, JAZZ on November 22, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hiromi UEHARA – Brain 2004
Recorded at The Sound Kitchen, Franklin, Tennessee in December 2003

Jazz

As an artist, Hiromi has grown by leaps and bounds since her remarkable debut, Another Mind. For one thing, this disc has a much less obviously virtuoso feel; it’s as if she’s realized she has nothing to prove, and just sets about displaying her pianistic and compositional genius in settings that naturally reveal her prodigal talent.

Moreover, there’s a kind of cool disdain for jazz orthodoxy–not that she can’t play “in the Tradition” when she wants to; she just usually doesn’t want to.

Along with groups like The Bad Plus, EST, and The Frank Kimbrough Trio, she stretches the understand of piano jazz into new and unlikely vicinities, injecting some much-needed life into this venerable form: funk (“Kung Fu World Champion,” with its plugged-in bass stylings, stunning drumming, and very hip percussive piano stylings), gorgeous neo-pop jazz (“If . . . ,” which just dances and frolics with abandon), Oriental-feel jazz (“Wind Song,” perhaps my favorite number with its shifting melody and stunning solo), electronica (“Brain,” the brilliant and darkly perverse title cut, with its rhythmic insistence and computeresque bass stylings), neo-Brazilian (“Dancing on the Moon,” perhaps the most “straight-ahead” jazz number, where she sounds like she’s channeling early Keith Jarrett), sheerly gorgeous jazz (“Green Tea Room,” with its faux-Oriental, ravishingly romantic vibe), Steely Danish, out-atmospheric funkified jazz-pop (“Keytalk,” surely the most outrageously, impressively stylized number in the bunch, featuring the extroverted, expressivistic bass renderings of the entirely remarkable Tony Grey), and the closest thing to traditional jazz trio understandings, “Legend of the Purple Valley,” which, nevertheless, sounds scarcely like anything you’d hear from a typical jazz trio outing.
By Jan P. Dennis.
**
Among those artists currently reinventing the jazz piano trio–such as E.S.T. and The Bad Plus–Hiromi is rapidly moving to the forefront. A protégé of Ahmad Jamal who played in duet with Chick Corea when she was 17, Hiromi’s influences are very broad–Beethoven and Debussy somehow align with P-Funk. Part of her success lies in her skill with electronics, evident in the pulsing rhythmic overlays of “Kung-Fu World Champion” or the strange, calliope-like sound that announces the theme of “Brain.” But it’s her consummate piano playing that ties all of the threads together, whether it’s the impressionist-flavored solo of “Green Tea Farm” or the bustling runs and charging interplay that she leads on “Desert of the Moon” with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Martin Valihora. Hiromi practices an art of surprise, touching on video-game tempos and Bill Evans harmonies as she arranges tradition and novelty in fresh configurations.
By Stuart Broomer. AMG.
**
Japanese pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara dazzled the jazz world with her 2003 debut, Another Mind. Its mash of keyboard pyrotechnics and range of compositional styles was multiplied exponentially by her irrepressible energy. On that set she used variously sized ensembles to articulate her compositions. On Brain, Hiromi strips it back to a trio and offers a more intimate look at her wide musical universe, utilizing drummer Martin Valihora, bassist Tony Grey (both fellow Berklee College of Music alums), and alternately bassist Anthony Jackson. The album opens with the wacky “Kung-Fu World Champion” with its mélange of sequenced keyboards. It’s a fusion tune to be sure, but it’s so kooky and funky that it transcends the label despite its reliance on staggering time signatures and stop-on-air turnarounds and changes. It’s a careening tour de force where electronic keyboards and pianos are layered over a scattershot rhythm that pulls and pushes the deep pocket funk and strafes it with a post-bop sensibility. Grey’s bassing here is so choice, so utterly fluid and physical. But it’s back to jazz on “If…” with Jackson taking the bass chair. It’s a strolling soul-jazz figure, bubbling over a series of chromatically arranged ostinati. Its beauty is crystalline despite all the activity. “Wind Song” is a mid-tempo ballad with beautiful ringing lines in the middle register. Its repetitive figure shifts and shapes an alternate melodic line in the solo. The knottiness of the title track offers a close, scrutinizing view of Hiromi’s mad muse; using her piano to articulate a figure she creates a warped and angular counterpoint with electronic keyboards keeping the rhythm section striating in between, with precise interstitial motifs before the entire cut gives way to a blessed out of minor key prelude on the piano and her rhythm section dancing around the changes in hushed tones. The centerpiece of the set is a stunningly beautiful tune called “Green Tea Farm.” A solo piece, it is pastoral. In sum, Hiromi has built upon her previous effort by stripping down her band and showcasing the less physical but no less ambitious side of her improvisational and compositional flair. Her sound might still be confounding to the purists, but who cares? Hiromi is a jazz pianist for the new century, one whose “yes” to the wealth of musical styles that are available to her is only eclipsed by her ability to work them into a unique whole that bears her signature.
By Thom Jurek. AMG.
**
Hiromi Uehara- (Piano, Keyboards);
Anthony Jackson, Tony Grey- (Bass);
Martin Valihora- (Drums).
**
01. Kung-Fu World Champion (6:49)
02. If (7:09)
03. Wind Song (5:40)
04. Brain (8:59)
05. Desert On The Moon (7:04)
06. Green Tea Farm (solo) (4:34)
07. Keytalk (10:02)
08. Legend of the Purple Valley (10:47)
**

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