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Exploring the Dynamic Jazz Piano of Hiromi Uehara – Alive!!

Hiromi's AliveSo while I did really enjoy all of the albums on the Jazz playlist that I created yesterday. There was one album though, that caught my attention very quickly and  that was Alive by Hiromi! The album was released on June 17th on the Telarc label and currently the album is No, 37 on the JazzWeek Chart and No 11 on the Billboard Jazz Chart.

Alive is Hiromi’s ninth studio release and her third release as Hiromi’s  Trio Project.  The current trio features: Simon Phillips on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass. Her first four releases were as Hiromi, For the next two releases guitarist David Fiuczynski  joined the group and the band became Hiromi’s Sonicboom.  As a composer Hiromi blends a variety of musical genres like post-bop, progressive rock, classical, and jazz fusion,  into her compositions. Wait prog rock? Does she have a page at ProgArchives….Yes, she does, she is included in the Jazz/Rock Fusion sub-genre. From her biography at ProgArchives….

Hiromi Uehara is a jazz fusion artist based in Shizuoka, Japan. Her style brings a wholly new approach to jazz fusion, as her prog influence is derived primarily from such artists as King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Frank Zappa rather than earlier jazz fusion artists. Her music is almost orchestral in scope, and each of the musicians she plays with has a virtuosic grasp of their instrument, allowing for each instrumentalist to have an approximately equal role in the direction of the music. Her music is more melodious than traditional jazz fusion but with an equally complex sense of rhythm. Time signature changes are not in short supply here Read More

Hiromi’s full name is Hiromi Uehora and she was born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. She began playing classical piano at five, was introduced to jazz a little while later, and by the age of 14 she was playing with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra!! At the age of 17, she met Chick Corea in Tokyo, and  he invited her to play in concert with him the next day!! She wrote jingles for a few years in Japan before making her way to the US and Berklee School of Music where she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and was signed by the Telarc label before she even graduated. (Don’t you wish you could have done that?)

I’m not going to go into great detail about each track because, I really don’t know all the ins and outs of the technical side of the music, but I do know what I like and I do know what is good, and I like Alive a lot and Hiromi is a dynamic and amazing pianist – so I will just say check her music out!! And once again, I have a lot of catching up to do! Let’s see at AllMusic her 2004 release Brain is the Editor’s Pick, and at ProgArchives her 2007 release Time Control is the highest rated of her albums! I guess they are the two albums to continue my explorations of Hiromi’s music!! Oh, she has also released four DVDs of Live performances. (Hum are any available on Amazon Prime?) Bye, I’m off to Amazon and Spotify!

Links
Website
AllMusic
Amazon
ProgArchives
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Here’s Hiromi’s Trio Project performing “Alive” in the studio…..