Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

269

Hiromi: Voice

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Hiromi's Voice—her seventh album for Telarc—carries the hallmarks of her previous works: prodigious piano playing, a dash of electro-funk, and strong melodic hooks, served up in a power trio setting. What has changed is the personnel, with Hiromi's rhythm section since' 04 of drummer Martin Valihora and bassist Tony Grey making way for all-rounder Simon Phillips on drums and the innovative Anthony Jackson, on contrabass guitar. Phillips, who impressed most recently on the Trilok Gurtu/NDR Big Band recording 21 Spices (Art of Groove/Indigo, 2011) fits the mold of dynamic, category-defying drummer favored by Hiromi, and brings plenty of bustling energy and momentum to the music, not to mention versatility, and a deft touch when required.

Jackson is no stranger to Hiromi, having guested on her first two albums. As is his wont, Jackson eschews any spotlight-grabbing solos, though his trademark melodic comping displays the ingenuity of continuous improvisation. It's Hiromi's virtuosity that impresses with her Lennie Tristano-like dazzling speed and innate musicality.

The classically hued intro to the title track is a seductive diversion to the main business, an energetic number which features some closely knit, high-speed unison lines from all three musicians and spectacular solos from pianist and drummer over a bass ostinato. Hiromi is also adept at the odd curve ball, as on "Flashback" where the full flow of the trio spins on a dime and emerges in a swinging blues. There is much athleticism from the leader, and Phillips, swept up in the energy, unleashes an extended solo of thunderous, tumbling rolls. Phillips has played with everyone from guitarist/composer Mike Oldfield to The Who, but it's difficult to recall a more animated performance than that given on Voice.

The funky "Now or Never" sounds like Dr. John meets Herbie Hancock with its soulful New Orleans gait and squishy electronic keyboards, though this is a primarily an acoustic piano hoedown. Grooving synthesizer also colors "Desire," though an extended piano solo from Hiromi steals the day. While electronic keyboards, electric bass and electric guitar have colored nearly all Hiromi's albums, she is an acoustic pianist of considerable refinement, as the graceful solo piece "Haze" demonstrates with its lovely, classical fluidity.

In fact, Hiromi shows perhaps a greater passion for classical music than for electronic play; previously the pianist has interpreted the music of Debussy and Pachelbel and, here, she adds a gently bluesy take on Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8, "Pathetique." There's always a hint of a smile in Hiromi's blues, and Jackson's bass and Phillips on brushes contribute a strolling swing, with a washing cymbal providing the perfect closing note.

Voice presents Hiromi as a maturing composer spreading her wings, confident and open to all manner of influences. This is a highly satisfying addition to Hiromi's discography, and one that leaves the tantalizing sensation that her already fascinating musical journey is maybe only just beginning.

Track Listing: Voice; Flashback; Now or Never; Temptation; Labyrinth; Desire; Haze; Delusion; Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8, Pathetique.

Personnel: Hiromi: piano, keyboards; Anthony Jackson: contrabass guitar; Simon Phillips: drums.

Title: Voice | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Telarc Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
In Pictures
SoCal Jazz
Live From Philadelphia
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
  • Move by Glenn Astarita
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
  • Voice by AAJ Italy Staff
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Hiromi & Edmar Castaneda Live In Montreal

Hiromi & Edmar...

Telarc Records
2017

buy
Spark

Spark

Telarc Records
2016

buy
Hiromi: Alive

Hiromi: Alive

Telarc Records
2014

buy
Alive

Alive

Telarc Records
2014

buy
Move

Move

Telarc Records
2013

buy
Hiromi: Move

Hiromi: Move

Telarc Records
2013

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul15Mon
Hiromi
Arena Santa Giuliana
Perugia, Italy
Aug9Fri
Hiromi, Hiromi Uehara
Blue Note Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Aug10Sat
Hiromi, Hiromi Uehara
Blue Note Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Aug11Sun
Hiromi, Hiromi Uehara
Blue Note Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Oct1Tue
Hiromi
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$30.00
Oct1Tue
Hiromi
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$30.00
Oct2Wed
Hiromi
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$30.00

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019