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 with 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 sync, loaded with energy and imagination. It's refreshingly free of clichés, 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.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
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
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