307

Hiromi: Spiral

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
In a set of her own compositions, pianist Hiromi Uehara swings jazz's modern mainstream with a delightful mix of dramatic themes. Her trio drives with intensity one moment and relaxes quietly the next. Through its improvisational character, the trio melds jazz with rock and goes far beyond. A blues thread runs through nearly every piece, and Hiromi shows her deep love for the feelings that she effortlessly evokes. Her compositions run suite-like, with shifting moods and dynamic changes in emphasis.

The pianist works hard to express her ideas. Emotion plays a large part in each selection. While she confesses mentorship with Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, and Chick Corea, Uehara shares much of her eclectic spirit with Dave Brubeck. Her piano cascades drive with simple elegance, and she resolves every phrase with a dynamic spirit. She enthralls her audience with powerful rhythmic strides that challenge the intellect. Meters change, moods shift, and her driving force keeps on going. Her improvised romps come alive with foot-tapping and head-bobbing energy that keeps the listener buoyed from start to finish.

Uehara uses the grand piano for nearly all of her work. "Return of Kung-Fu World Champion," however, incorporates a widely different tactic. Here, she applies leading-edge electronic effects to her performance with astonishing results. Keyboard and piano combine for an energetic display that compares to a martial arts competition. This thrilling piece allows her to balance her program: acoustic meets electronic. The result is a powerful statement that envelops new and exciting forces into her mainstream jazz program.

Live footage of "Kung-Fu World Champion" is provided with Spiral on an included DVD. Running approximately seven minutes, the concert performance reveals three highly creative artists who improvise into new jazz territory with a free spirit. I believe the colloquial term to describe this event is awesome.


Track Listing: Spiral; Music for Three-Piece-Orchestra: (Open Door--Tuning--Prologue; D

Personnel: Hiromi Uehara: piano, keyboard; Tony Gray: bass; Martin Vailhora: drums.

Title: Spiral | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "The Authorized Bang Collection" CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "LifeCycle" CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Tangle" CD/LP/Track Review Tangle
by John Eyles
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.