Hiromi: The Trio Project
One of the most amazing Christmas gifts I got this season were two CDs by world-famous Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara, who joined forces with – get this – Simon Philips on drums and Andrew Jackson on the electric bass. And with this incredible line-up she is still modest enough to call this simply ‘The Trio Project’.
Hiromi has been on my radar for almost ten years now, as she features this very seldom combination of perfect technique and a musicality that just makes you smile. The two CDs I got were ‘VOICE’ and ‘MOVE’, where the trio explores a combination of Prog Rock with Pop influences and Fusion nurtured by traditional Jazz lines, especially in Hiromi’s improvisations.
Something else she has been known to do also shows up on the album: there is a quite provokative use of Synthesizer sounds, which at times may come across as a bit childish, but then, they turn out to weave themselves in quite nicely after this initial odd impression.
It has been a long time since I have had this unconditional feeling of wow when listening to something new, but these two records definitely did it!