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Spiral

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Album Review

With the release of Spiral, the award-winning pianist/composer Hiromi Uehara stands at the threshold of limitless possibility. Her third trio recording in as many years finds her in the familiar company of drummer Martin Valihora and bass player Tony Grey, but the CD itself goes beyond expectations. It features all original compositions, including the 28-minute"Music for a Three-Piece Orchestra," a suite of four tracks — "Open Door/Tuning/Prologue," "Déjà Vu," "Reverse," and "Edge" — that spotlight Hiromi's formidable technique and impressive compositional skills. The suite was inspired by Hiromi's desire to expand the sound of her trio into orchestral spaces and to give her listeners an intense listening experience. By contrast, the highly energetic "Return of Kung-Fu World Champion" captures the essence of the trio in a smaller, jazz-rock fusion format that kicks with the same excitement as a martial arts tournament. The title track "Spiral" alternates between improvisation and carefully crafted jazz elements, while the delicate comping chords heard on "Love and Laughter" are a sure indication of jazz giant Ahmad Jamal's positive influence as a mentor. Both songs beautifully captivate and induce your imagination to spiral toward the trio's interplay, flurry of notes, and aural qualities. Overall, Spiral exceeds the standards set by Hiromi's previous releases, Another Mind and Brain, and should garner her a wider audience. [This Hybrid Disc edition features discreet, multi-channel surround in addition to both standard stereo and SACD-stereo playback.]

Biography

Born: 1979 in Shizuoka, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1979. At the age of six she started playing piano. Within a year, she was a student of the Yamaha School of Music, whose progressive approach to musical training allowed the young student to shape her technical skills, writing, and performing. After relocating to the United States in 1999, she continued her studies at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where she received a full scholarship. It was there that Hiromi developed her...
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Spiral, Hiromi
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