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AAA Music | 23 April 2024

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Hiromi: The Trio Project – Live @ The Royal Festival Hall

| On 14, Dec 2015


Wednesday 18th November, London

Exhilarating crossover jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara, from Shizuoka, Japan, matriculated from Berklee College of Music in the USA. She’s a restless and infectious musician who quickly acquired a reputation for being a fiery and assertive performer. The iconic pianist Ahmad Jamal once said that she’d “discovered her own genre”.

At this EFG London Jazz Festival performance Hiromi explored adventurous new territory with her explosive rhythm section: colourful Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Chick Corea) on electric bass and frenzied Simon Phillips (The Who, Jack Bruce) on drums . Together the trio merged jazz, swing, blues, R&B, classical and progressive rock.

This was an impressive performance, bold, elegant and exuberant. Sensitive opener ‘Spark’ thundered away fiercely, followed by the bouncy and energetic ‘Player’, whilst ‘Seeker’ was very catchy. A five minute drum solo ‘In A Trance’ seemed quite relentless.

The evening was soulful and exhausting. Hiromi often played with her eyes shut, contrasting light with shade, playing with a precise, delicate touch one moment and using forearms and fists the next. With immense joy she sometimes stood to dance and play at the same time.

“I hope you enjoy the ride” said Hiromi and the audience certainly did. This was fast, complex music full of excitement and enthusiasm – sharp, flashy, upbeat and very tight. “Thank you for giving me this place to be” she said, emerging from the passionate and beautiful ‘Place To Be’. It’s unlikely the audience would have wanted to be anywhere else.

Anthony Weightman