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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Guru Guru - Seven Reissues – Guru Guru is one of the better known Krautrock bands from the 70s. In Spring 1973 they released their fourth album Guru Guru, engineered by the legendary Conny Plank, featuring drummer Mani Neumeier,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues