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BEYOND STANDARD

Hiromi Uehara

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Hiromi Uehara Beyond Standard album cover
3.98 | 29 ratings | 2 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Intro: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (0:28)
2. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (7:29)
3. Clair De Lune (7:25)
4. Caravan (8:49)
5. Ue Wo Muite Aruko (8:42)
6. My Favorite Things (7:48)
7. Led Boots (6:33)
8. XYG (6:32)
9. I've Got Rhythm (5:51)

Total Time: 59:39

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Hiromi Uehara / Piano, Keyboards
David Fiuczynski / Fretted and Fretless Guitar
Tony Grey / Bass
Martin Valihora / Drums


Releases information

Telarc

Thanks to Evolutionary_Sleeper for the addition
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Buy HIROMI UEHARA Beyond Standard Music


Place to BePlace to Be
Super Audio CD - DSD · Import
Universal Japan 2012
Audio CD$41.30
$39.95 (used)
Beyond StandardBeyond Standard
Super Audio CD - DSD · Import
Imports 2008
Audio CD$62.20
$35.60 (used)
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HIROMI UEHARA Beyond Standard ratings distribution


3.98
(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
24%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

HIROMI UEHARA Beyond Standard reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgressiveAttic
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars

Hiromi has never been closer to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever before this album, ironically this is achieved through re-workings of classic jazz standards (obviously excluding Jeff Beck's Led Boots and Hiromi's own XYG). The album's name is very representative of the content, the standards are taken to new frontiers beyond anything that the original composers thought possible.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't enjoy this effort as much as I did with her early works. First of all, the rhythm section is as competent and talented as the original one, as I said on a previous review: musicians would kill for such backing band, but I think I like better the previous' approach to the music. Added to that I am not too keen to Fiuczynski's guitar playing style... maybe too weird (but on the other hand I do enjoy weird music and experimental playing). At the end this is a matter of taste.

Enough of what I dislike.... Now to the ups, which are more abundant than the downs. I've always been a huge fan of percussive piano playing of the likes of Chick Corea, Keith Tippett and Keith Emerson, so this is piano heaven for me. Hiromi's tasteful acoustic approach to fusion with small reliance on synths is highly enjoyable and refreshing, this combined with crazy electric guitars produces a very interesting avant-garde sound. Another thing I enjoyed is how the album is introduced by presenting the contrast between the original versions and Hiromi's fusion renditions with a mono short version of Softly As In A Morning Sunrise as a prelude to the re-worked version of the piece in a pristine stereo sound quality.

The last three tracks of the album are quite different from the rest. Beck's Led Boots isn't really radically different from the original, although it receives a nice Hiromi/Fiuczynski electronic treatment. XYG is another fusion track and the only complete Hiromi original in the album, originally released as the opening track of her debut (Another Mind) under the name XYZ, this time the composition features Fiuczynski's strange guitar playing and I must say that, although I enjoyed this version, I still prefer XYZ (great piano performance here, by the way). I've Got Rhythm closes the album masterfully with Hiromi playing solo an acoustic piano, really breath-taking (I won't describe it here, you'll have to listen to this yourself).

This album features some of the meanest, fastest, more technical, innovative and imaginative piano/keyboard playing I've ever witnessed. And the sound quality couldn't be better.

Do not expect a standards album because you are not going to get anything like it. These are electric re-workings of (mostly) well known jazz standards, which at the end are almost unrecognizable anyways. The highlights of the album are Hiromi's solo piano parts, the bass, the masterful drumming and, if you enjoy this kind of things, Fiuczynski's guitar.

Not a masterpiece, at least for me (although I understand the reasons of someone considering this 5 star material), and a must for every fusion lover out there. Not recommended for the fainthearted. 4 stars for this amazing fusion piece of work.

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Send comments to ProgressiveAttic (BETA) | Report this review (#269604) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 04, 2010

Latest members reviews

5 stars Her previous album, Time Control, and this one, Beyond Standard, have been made under her Jazz Rock/Fusion band, Hiromi's Sonicbloom. The only big difference this time, except for 1 song, she didn't write the music but, like the title of the album say's, it's Jazz standard, but played version Hiromi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1256815) | Posted by Fido73 | Saturday, August 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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