Hiromi's Sonicbloom — Time Control
(Telarc CD-83655, 2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara's previous releases have all borne the name "Hiromi" and basically consisted of her standing trio of bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora. Guitarist David Fiuczynski was a guest on her first album, and he's here now as a full member, hence the new name. While I love her previous albums, this one really grabs me, from the quick tinkling intro of "Time Difference" to the dizzying stylistic shifts of "Real Clock vs. Body Clock = Jet Lag" to the last moody melodies of "Note from the Past." That pitter-patter raindrop intro is followed by a killer riff in alternating 7/4 and 6/4 with some superb unison melodies on piano and guitar. The first solo spotlight has Hiromi tossing off one of her eccentric synth flights, and Fiuczynski joins in with some of his own eccentricity. This is fusion at its best, folks, with all cylinders firing in perfect synch, loaded with energy and imagination. It's refreshingly free of clicés, and while the technical level is stunning, it never seems like mere exercise. With the second track, an electric piano joins Hiromi's palette (though the acoustic piano still dominates), and there's a funky soulful vibe; the guitar gets a wah-wah treatment, and much fun is had by all. Things slow down a bit for "Deep into the Night," though it's a far cry from smooth jazz; the guitar reminds me of Phil Miller. I could go on and on — it's terrific all the way through.
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
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
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
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 Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more