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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Guru Guru - 2000 Gurus – I remember Guru Guru from back in the 70s, when I picked up one album on a whim. It was spacey, funky jazz rock done with a sense of humor (I don’t suppose you can be too serious with a name...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues