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