Hiromi: Brain (2004)
The diminutive Hiromi proves a huge funk jones on Brain, beginning with the disc opener, "Kung-Fu World Champion," where she mixes electronic and acoustic effortlessly and allows bassist Tony Grey to produce the love child of Bootsy Collins and Jaco Pastorious. Hiromi's musicianship is staggering, her sense of melody and harmony is secure and well-informed, whether electric or acoustic. She does provide two beautiful ballads, one up-beat and one ethereal. The former is "If," which employs a gentle velocity in a full orchestral setting. "Wind Song" resembles nothing else on this or the previous recording in its quiet contemplation. The title cut is similar to the opener with its mixture of electronics and acoustics.
All of the pieces are pregnant with ideas, very well thought out ideas. In spite of my prejudice against electric elements in jazz, it is impossible for me to state anything other than that Brain is very likely to be a highlight recording of 2004.
Track Listing: Kung-Fu World Champion; If?; Wind Song; Brain; Desert On The Moon; Green Tea Farm; Keytalk; Legend Of The Purple Valley.
Personnel: Hiromi: Keyboards; Tony Grey, Anthony Jackson: Bass; Martin Valihora: Drums.
Record Label: Telarc Records