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


Hiromi Uehara

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Hiromi Uehara's Trio Project takes a simple acoustic jazz trio lineup of piano, guitar and drums and applies this to complex, prog-influenced jazz fusion with - on Move, at least - influences detectable from the likes of Magma and Univers Zero. The acoustic instrumentation allows Hiromi and her capable assistants to apply a wide emotional range to the material; though they can shred like the most furious of their influences, they can explore gentler and more soothing textures more easily thanks to their choice of instruments and the production here.

The best example of this is on the "Suite Escapism" triptych ("sweet escapism", geddit?), in which the furiously busy Reality and gentle, dreamlike Fantasy are brought together in a balanced way on In Between. It's an extremely good fusion release which makes it clear that Hiromi might just be one of the most exciting talents in jazz today - not to mention one of the few taking jazz fusion into new, uncharted territory.

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Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best Hiromi album. Virtually 5 Stars!

Perhaps more than on any other of her albums, Hiromi's virtuosity here is matched by a consistently high-quality and highly memorable set of compositions. While I find some of her albums lose steam closer to the end (eg 'Alive'), all the songs on this album are top notich and highly distinct, up there with her best compositions. The album opens with the double-pulse piano notes for "Move", which became one of Hiromi's live signature pieces, followed by the excellent and beautiful "Brand New Day". On virtually each album, Hiromi includes a song in which she plays a seemingly-talking synth for humourous effect, and on this album it is "Endeavor" (although her solos on it are on piano). "Rainmaker", the fourth track, is one of her best songs, a really definitive melody. After this comes 20 minutes of a three-part suite called "Suite Escapism" broken into three parts, all of which is really fantastic! The first and last parts ("Reality" and "InBetween") involve some incredibly fast playing - it is difficult to believe anyone can play the piano this fast. The middle part ("Fantasy") is very slow, and among my favourite of her quiet slow ballads. The second-last piece, "Margarita", is basically a funky shuffle, and while it is (to my ears) the weakest track on this album, it is still in the top 50 percent of her tunes - much better than any of the weaker songs I can think of from her other albums. Part of the reason for this is her quirky and unique solos (both synth and piano). The final composition on this album, titled "11:49", is almost twelve minutes of bliss, and like "Rainmaker" one of Hiromi's best-ever pieces. find this to be one of Hiromi's most consistent albums. I give this 8.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just 0.1 away from a 5 PA Stars.

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Posted Monday, March 6, 2017 | Review Permalink

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