Exposé Online banner

Hiromi — Voice
(Telarc TEL-32819-02, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-07-25

Voice Cover art

That's Voice as in "finding your voice," not indicating that there is vocal music on this CD. It's the Hiromi Uehara we know and love (at least I do) with a different backing band she calls the "Trio Project." The drummer is Simon Phillips, and on bass (actually contrabass guitar) we have Anthony Jackson. The musical focus is a bit more towards the traditional than the fusion side, with Hiromi mostly sticking to piano (though she can't resist the occasional funky synth line), but all the compositions are hers (barring a jazzy arrangement of Beethoven's "Pathetique" piano sonata) and exhibit the same penchant for complexity as with her more electric material. Which is not to say that she can't groove with the best of them: "Now or Never" is one of her most soulful pieces, harking to 60s soul-jazz along the lines of Les McCann (think "Compared to What" as interpreted by Oscar Peterson with a touch of Herbie Hancock tossed in), and if I'm not mistaken actually stays exclusively in 4/4. It also features the aforementioned funky synthesizer. Other pieces dive headlong into dizzying rhythmic patterns that should satisfy any fan of fusion or math-rock in spite of the lack of a guitar. This piano trio is light-years away from cocktail lounge fare. Come to think of it, the cocktail lounge that did feature this kind of music would be a place I'd be hard pressed to ever leave — as long as the drinks were at least passable. Hiromi has risen to the ranks of my all-time favorite keyboard players, and her mastery of the piano makes the absence of Mellotrons and organs irrelevant. She may have more technique than a dozen hotshot proggers combined, but she shines even when the mood is subtle and two notes say more than twenty.


Filed under: New releases, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Hiromi Uehara, Simon Phillips

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Point of Views – From the beginning, led by drummer Dave Kerman, 5uu's started out as the west-coast answer to the European RIO music of the day. Their first mini-album Bel Marduk & Tiamat echoes that more...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues