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Hiromi

July 2014
The Guardian
John Fordham -
Hiromi: Alive review - relentlessly flashy but impressive piano virtuoso (Telarc) Anthemic, big-chord drama...Hiromi

Hiromi: Alive review - relentlessly flashy but impressive piano virtuoso (Telarc)
3 out of 5 stars

John Fordham
theguardian.com, Thursday 24 July 2014 16.30 EDT

Anthemic, big-chord drama...Hiromi

Young Japanese pianist Hiromi, a dazzling crossover virtuoso admired by many of jazz's most venerable keyboard stars, throws the kitchen sink at all her performances - which are breathtaking displays of flat-out swing, funky grooving and classical references, often all in the same piece. This is her ninth album, and the mix is much the same, but so is the infectious enthusiasm with which she stirs it. The title track is a typical blend of anthemic, big-chord drama soon displaced by catchy left-hand hook over a rugged funk pulse from rock drummer Simon Phillips, then a whirling folk-dance and some jazz-ballad lyricism before returning to its starting point. Dreamer sounds like film music; Player evokes Enlightenment-era McCoy Tyner; Firefly explores Hiromi's rich classical resources; Spirit is gospelly; and the engaging Seeker a soul-jazz excursion on a pop-like melody in which the leader veers into delightful, Errol Garneresque old-school swing. Hiromi fans will love it, but its relentless flashiness won't work for everyone.





   
   
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