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

THE TRIO PROJECT: ALIVE

Hiromi Uehara

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 40 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars Awesome Virtuosity.

Hiromi's album "Alive" was my introduction to Hiromi. It was playing on the speakers inside a music store back in 2014 when it was released, and was so good I had to pick it up immediately. Her Trio Project with Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips is a really excellent venue for showcasing each of their talents. While her first albums often featured guitarists or horn players, truth be told Hiromi fills up the space better than most players (of any sort), and the Trio format gives her the freedom to do so. This album is a tour-de-force of excellent musicianship, not only by Hiromi but Jackson and Phillips as well. Phillips in particular plays out in a number of places, while Jackson only takes a few solos. But you can hear the virtuosity on every track, and there are a number of really innovative pieces here. As for the music, at 75 minutes, this is a long collection, with all but the last track a new Hiromi original. Like her other albums, this mostly features fast progressive rock-influenced jazz fusion, but with a mix of styles. And like her other albums, she titles most songs here thematically, this time in terms of action-oriented personal titles ("Seeker", "Dreamer", etc). There really aren't any bad tracks here. The first half contains more of the really fast and complex tunes, while more traditional jazz styles are concentrated in the latter half, and so the album might feel a bit front-loaded (for progressive rock lovers). But the playing is incredible on every track. My favourites include the first three ("Alive", "Wanderer", and the awesome "Dreamer"), and "Warrior" and the lovely quiet and slow "Firefly". These tracks alone come to 43 minutes, which is roughly the length of a regular vinyl album. Every Hiromi album also features a bluesy shuffle, and on this one it is "Spirit", although "Player" also shifts in and out of this, and to a degree the cover that she chose to close the album "Life Goes On". These are all very good, but not my favourites, and to my mind the album loses a bit of steam as it approaches the end, and so really the album doesn't so many tunes. Saying this, there is so much excellent music here, this is definitely worth picking up. Of her Trio Project albums, I place this just under "Voice" (which is second to her Trio Project excellent album "Move"). I give this one 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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