Japan has produced an impressive assemblage of jazz pianists, from Toshiko Akiyoshi and Makoto Ozone. And now, well into the change of the 21st century, the pianist/composer Hiromi is the latest in that line of amazing musicians. Ever since the 2003 release of her debut Telarc CD, Another Mind, Hiromi has electrified audiences and critics east and west, with a creative energy that encompasses and eclipses the boundaries of jazz, classical and pop parameters, taking improvisation and composition to new heights of complexity and sophistication. Her latest album, the vivid solo piano outing Spectrum, offers a dazzling evocation of the vibrant array of colors that imbue her music.
With her 2009 solo debut Place to Be, Hiromi decided to go it alone once a decade in order to capture the ways in which her experiences and personal growth had shaped her sound during the preceding years. Recorded on the eve of her 40th birthday, Spectrum celebrates the maturity and depth that have enriched Hiromi’s composing and playing over the course of her 30s, years in which she’s crisscrossed the globe thrilling audiences and embarked on collaborations with some of jazz’s most inventive artists.
“The sound of a pianist changes with age and with every experience in life,” Hiromi says. “I wanted to set these milestones so that I can see from the outside how I’ve changed and grown.”