The talented and prolific pianist Hiromi is back with Place to Be. It seems that with each release, Ms. Uehara only gets better and stuns the listener with her trademark virtuosity of fingers soaring all over the piano keys. Hiromi composed ten of the twelve tracks, and in her liner notes, she explains her thinking behind the unique song titles.
Place to Be, Hiromi’s sixth album, is full of power and passion, and stirs the emotions of the listener. Trying to aptly describe her music and its effects with mere words is quite difficult. This listener will make a humble attempt at signaling out some of the stellar compositions on Place to Be.
Hiromi kicks things off with “BQE.” Named after NYC’s Brooklyn-Queens Expressway-it’s fast-paced and jammed packed with movement. It’s clear what she was going for with this tune. “Choux a la creme,” the second track, really showcases Hiromi’s deftness on the keys. Midway, there’s a playful duel between the keys and the bass. It’s simply fabulous! “Bern, Baby, Bern” is the shortest track on the album. It’s so fast-paced and dizzying (in a good way), that three minutes is all that’s needed.
“Somewhere” slows things down a little. With a lightness of touch, she creates a plaintive melody-a welcomed deviation from her usual. The eight track is a marvelous interpretation of “Pachelbel’s Canon.” Her improvisation of this classic seems so effortless, that it’s easy to forget it wasn’t originally composed this way.
Hiromi’s music is usually classified as jazz; however, it’s so much more than that. The passion and authority in her playing goes beyond genre as it transports the listener to another place. Hiromi and Place To Be are simply magnificent!
Take a look and a listen at Hiromi in action!
I’ve Got Rhythm
The Tom and Jerry Show
Grammy-award winning veteran pianist Chick Corea teams up with the up-and-coming Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi Uehera on the two-disc Duet. With three generations between them, Corea and Uehera may seem like an odd pairing, but they play off each other like two friends who learned their instrument from the same teacher at the same time. They are totally in sync with each other. Corea seems as youthful and energetic as the 30-year-old Hiromi, while she performs with talent beyond her years
Duet documents the two pianists’ three nights of live duet performances at the Blue Note Tokyo. The selections chosen for this set are varied; covers of Bill Evans, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Lennon- McCartney, and Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions to original compositions from the two pianists.
The first CD includes an original by each pianist as well as four covers. Monk’s “Bolivar Blues” and Lennon-McCartney’s “Fool On The Hill” attract attention on Disc One. The second disc contains four originals, two a piece. Gershwin’s “Summertime” is included on this disc, and the closer is a lovely melding of Joaquin Vidre Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with Corea’s “Spain.”
Duet is masterful. It’s a great combination of two extraordinary pianists from different generations and cultures who, with the ivories, communicate with each other passionately and quite effectively.
Here they are performing “Summertime”