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Hiromi Uehara - The Trio Project: Voice CD (album) cover


Hiromi Uehara


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.05 | 116 ratings

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4 stars Very Musical.

The first official album of her Trio Project with Simon Philips and Anthony Jackson, this is a consistently strong and musical collection. The trio format is, I think, the best for not only showcasing Hiromi's amazing talents, but gives her the freedom to structure her pieces, and with Simon Philips on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass Hiromi is matched in talent. Her keyboard skills are amazing, in terms of sheer speed and complexity, able to string notes together in a highly musical way, and in her abilities to create very different kinds of soundscapes with just a piano (and single synth). This album seems more musical than other albums, I think for a couple of reasons. First of all, her piano is more upfront with more bass response, and second here she is playing with less of a staccato approach, using the sustain pedal more with fewer jarring transitions between parts. Of course, I think many of the latter can also be highly musical, but they can also jarr. Furthermore, the tunes on this album mostly do not seem composed in order to impress for their virtuosity, which one finds on albums like Time Control or Alive, but instead are softer and seem to be written for their sheer musicality. While there are highlights on this album (the title track that opens the album, for instance), they do not stand out as high as the obvious tracks on her previous albums, but there are really no lows, either. (The last track, Hiromi's cover of Beethoven's Pathetique Piano Sonata, for me, doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, although it is excellent on its own terms). Like on earlier albums, Hiromi adds some humour with talking synth lines, but on this album they are not nearly as prominent (mainly a few parts in 'Now or Never' and 'Desire') and they are more embedded into the regular piano lines. While I think her follow-up to this album is her best ('Move'), this album comes close in terms of sheer excellence and musicality. But really, Hiromi's albums are all really high quality. I give this album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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