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July 2014
Marvin Leon Lake -
Hiromi - "Alive"


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Category: Music reviews

30 July 2014 | 4:56 PM

Hiromi - "Alive"

Hiromi's CDs are filed under Jazz, but that doesn't do her work justice. If anything, it's a strangulation of the Japanese pianist/composer's output, with elements of classical music, rock and jazz spanning occasionally dizzy, almost maniacal arrangements to sensitive Satie-like melodies, even innovative compositions encompassing each genre. Especially when she's recording as The Trio Project with contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips.

A follow up to 2013's "Move" CD by the trio DownBeat magazine tags "one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today," this release seeks to capture life's many moods and mysteries. Beginning with the explosive, ever-evolving nine-minute "Alive," with Hiromi's searching piano improvisations set against Phillips' sometimes bombastic drumming and Jackson's steady guitar. More accessible is the bouncy, groove-tinged "Seeker," with its odd-moments dissonance, while "Warrior," introduced ballad-style, metaphors to fit its title. A change of pace, "Firefly" is a delicate, impressionistic piano ballad, exquisite in its simplicity. There's even a churchy, gospel tracks, "Spirit."

Call Hiromi's music what you like, 'long as you call it fantastic.

- Marvin Leon Lake

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