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Hiromi Uehara - Brain CD (album) cover

BRAIN

Hiromi Uehara

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.78 | 37 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars Her best pre-trio project album.

This is the album the set for Hiromi a trio approach, which allows her the freedom to really develop her style, and which she would later develop into her Trio Project. This album doesn't feature Simon Philips on drums, but instead Martin Valihora, but does feature Anthony Jackson on three tracks (as well as Tony Grey on the others) on bass. This is my favourite of Hiromi's pre-Trio Project albums, and contains some of Hiromi's best compositions. And unlike her debut ('Another Mind') or her Sonic Bloom albums, which to my ears are a bit uneven, every track here is stellar. Hiromi has quite a musical sense of humour, usually communicated with talking-synth noises. These are on display here on two tracks - the opener "Kung-Fu World Champion" and the second-last tune "Keytalk". These tracks deviate a bit from her typical virtuoso piano-based work, and jazz purists might not like them, yet they bring a large smile to me. But the rest of the album is even better. This album contains my favourite Hiromi composition, "Green Tea Farm", a beautiful soft and delicate jazz piano piece. The musicality is also really exceptional on "Desert on the Moon" and "Legend of the Purple Valley", both of which feature Anthony Jackson on bass. These three songs are up there among HIromi's best. But in fact, the whole album is great and each of these songs seems to have more of its own identifiable character than pieces on her later albums. And while Jackson's playing is great as always, so is Tony Grey's bass playing, and this album seems to feature more bass solos than her other albums. This is an album that not only flows really well (as long as you like the quirky "Keytalk"), but it builds on itself with each track, so it propels you forward and makes you want to sit and listen to the whole thing. If you love her Trio Project albums, my guess is that you will love this album too. I give this album 8.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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