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jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016

Hiromi Uehara & the Trio Project - Alive (2014)


Vamos con el disco Hiromi del día: un disco graba en vivo en el estudio, donde las tres bestias del dream team del Trio Project lanzan toda su técnica y su fuego en base a las canciones de la nipona de las teclas de oro. En otra muestra de poderío jazzrockero, el anteúltimo disco de Hiromi en una semana dedicada a ella...

Artista: Hiromi Uehara & the Trio Project
Álbum: Alive
Año: 2014
Género: Jazz rock / Fusión
Nacionalidad: Japón


Lista de Temas:
1. Alive
2. Wanderer
3. Dreamer
4. Seeker
5. Player
6. Warrior
7. Firefly
8. Spirit
9. Life Goes On

Alineación:
- Hiromi Uehara / piano, co-producer
- Anthony Jackson / bass and contrabass
- Simon Phillips / drums






Con su estilo avasallante y una técnica impar sumado a la presencia de dos maestros como Anthony Jackson -bajo eléctrico de seis cuerdas- y Simon Phillips -batería- Hiromi nos muestra en su producción su mezcla de jazz, jazz fusion, prog y un post-bop de una calidad impecable, revalidando todo lo que se había escuchado en sus anteriores discos, confirmando por qué es una de las revelaciones más sorprendentes del jazz contemporáneo.

"No quiero ponerle una etiqueta a mi música. Otras personas pueden hacerlo si quieren. Yo diria que Es la unión de lo que he estado escuchando y lo que he estado aprendiendo. Tiene algunos elementos de la música clásica, algo de rock, un poco de jazz, pero no quiero darle un nombre "
Hiromi



Hiromi lleva una década revolucionando el jazz hasta convertirse en su mayor estrella de este momento, pero sobre todo expandiendo las fronteras del género y de su público. Como los tentáculos de un pulpo, cada mano parece estar controlada por un cerebro propio y tener completa autonomía. Sus solos y combinaciones rítmico-melódicas son un diálogo entre dos entidades separadas. Y todavía le sobra atención para tener los ojos y oídos conectados con sus dos músicos, en una sincronización perfecta en timming que desborda energía y precisión para lograr la combustión perfecta de expresividad interpretativa a alta velocidad. El trío traza recorridos intrincados y profundos de armonías y melodías prolijamente diseñadas, en una perfecta síntesis de este nuevo fenómeno que llega desde Japón para hacernos olvidar de viejas antinomias en la música contemporánea.

Hiromi Uehara, artísticamente conocida como Hiromi. De profesión: Compositora precoz y pianista virtuosa. Dotada de un talento nato a la hora de tocar el piano, cuenta con una disciplina, una dedicación y una motivación que pocos músicos de su edad poseen. El sello discográfico Telarc Records no la dejó escapar y la retuvo con un contrato discográfico al que no podía negarse a firmar y que muchos músicos jóvenes hubieran anhelado. Sin duda alguna, su paso por la prestigiosa Berklee College Of Music fue toda una inversión y la protección y recomendación otorgada por su colega Ahmad Jamal surtio el efecto deseado. Se mueve con soltura por estilos musicales tan variados como el Bob, el Rock Progresivo, la Fusión y el Jazz más contemporáneo, innovador y alternativo. El control que tiene sobre el piano es absoluto llegando más allá del virtuosismo. En el año 2.011, la pianista se une al bajista Anthony Jackson y al batería Simon Phillips conformando la formación musical denominada The Trio Project y con la que ha publicado álbumes como “Voice” (2.011) y “Move” (2.013). Ahora y después de finalizada una extensa gira internacional, Hiromi, Anthony Jackson y Simon Phillips vuelven de nuevo a la actualidad discográfica con el lanzamiento de su nueva producción discográfica que lleva por titulo “Alive” y que fue presentada el pasado mes de Junio por el sello discográfico Concord Music Group. La joven pianista junto a su bajista y su batería presentan un total de nueve composiciones inéditas estructuradas en formato de trío. Piano, bajo y batería se reparten el protagonismo de forma equilibrada, aunque prevalece el sonido del piano de Hiromi como instrumento solista, siempre muy bien instrumentada por la potente y efectista batería de Simon Phillips y el poderoso y sonoro bajo del veterano Anthony Jackson. El álbum se abre con la composición que titula el disco y que cuenta con una duración lo suficientemente larga -exactamente nueve minutos y cuatro segundos- para poder disfrutar del brillante y bien coordinado trío musical. A este tema le seguiran también otros de larga duración como “Player”, “Warrior”, “Wanderer” o “Spirit”. El disco se completa con temas como “Dreamer”, “Seeker”, “Firefly” y “Life Goes On”, temas de más de seis minutos de duración. El disco es producido por Hiromi y Michael Bishop. La grabación, mezcla y masterización de “Alive” es realizada por Michael Bishop en los Avatar Studios, en Clonick Hall Studio y en Oberlin Conservatory Of Music contando con la asistencia técnica de Ian Dobie y Akihiro Nishimura. La fotografía de la portada del álbum y de su interior, así como la dirección artística es obra de Muga Miyahara. El disco es distribuido en España por DistriJazz. La compositora y pianista junto a The Trio Project ha iniciado una extensa gira internacional para presentar este nuevo trabajo discográfico.
Smooth Forever

No creo que haga falta, pero aquì van algunos comentarios de terceros y en inglès. Sólo queda disfrutar este trío de ases de la mùsica.

Over four years of traveling and two previous recordings, Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara and her Trio Project, with contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, have become one of the finest units in contemporary jazz. Their particular prowess lies in seamlessly performing the pianist's knotty, technically challenging, often unpredictable compositions; they are also a closely united group of improvisers. Alive, co-produced by Hiromi and Michael Bishop, was cut over three days. The long title track is filled with unexpected twists, turns, and harmonic feints that lead through a labyrinth of classical, post-bop, and fusion-like segments. Phillips' drumming is outstanding, propulsive, and insistent; it underscores Hiromi's piano vamps and solos and foreshadows seismic shifts in the composition. "Wanderer" is classically inspired in its elaborate use of solo and group counterpoint. It transforms quickly toward swinging post-bop halfway through. The elegant melodic line in "Dreamer" is framed by double-timed floor tom and kick drum, even as the tune's shape and dynamic turn sharp corners quickly. Hiromi's solo takes center stage with crystalline ostinati and spirited legato runs. The taut athleticism in the first three tracks gives way to a more playful imagination on "The Seeker." Here, blues, gospel, and bop come together as Jackson's earthy, swaggering groove waxes prosaic. His more aggressive attack drives the fragmented post-bop on "Player," where Hiromi openly displays the influence of her mentor Ahmad Jamal in her solos. "Warrior" is startling in its use of group counterpoint and imaginative, harmonically rich crescendos. "Firefly" is a meditative solo piano piece whose gradually established theme nearly sings. "Spirit" makes exhaustive use of gospel in its slippery, bluesy approach (Jackson's solo is particularly attractive). "Life Goes On," which closes the set, is accessible yet very sophisticated contemporary jazz. Its funky center is filled out with punchy soloing from the pianist. She develops it in the lower and middle registers before flying over the keyboard and vamping to keep the groove. Phillips' snapping rim shots lead the charge and add accents to Jackson's fingerpopping solo. Given Hiromi's wonderful compositions for this collective, Alive's consistent signature is one of surprise. They are wildly complex, yet sound natural and free of artifice. Its feel is bright, warm, and hip, easily her finest outing with the Trio Project to date.
Thom Jurek

I am travelling through the world of music. Every day there are new pieces that I achieve and try to understand. Quite recently did I begin to investigate new produced record and still active artist, when I before just listened to old bands.
Hiromi Uehara is a japanese jazz musician who has made a lot of praised music since a young age and now 2014 she and bassist Anthony Jackson and the drummer Simon Philips made "Alive" which is Hiromi's ninth studio record. Before me five others have rated the record and given it as many stars as posible.
The record contains nine tracks and everyone is long lasting so the listening time is 75 minutes of music. The music is varied and uses a lot of thoughts that evolves into interesting pieces. The best song in my opinion, in "Warrior" which is both very jazzy and very rocky and gives of glimpses of other progressive rock(9/10). Also "Alive" and "Wanderer" do I like with a lot of craziness and love for melodic streams(8/10). The other songs have parts that I like but I have hard to realy understand them.
Well, I am quite new to jazz rock I don't think I am a good judge to say this record är related to other records in the same genre. I can just judge from my own experience and then I most say taht I liked a lot here,a nd I liked the spirit and craziness here and there. Though are my experiences still too vague and the music perhaps too jazzy. I credit the record and suppose that others will like it even more. Three/five stars!
Adrian Drömmaren

Someone recommended me this CD of a new Japanese keyboard player so I obliged and purchased It. It is an excellent CD if you are into jazz (which I am not) She is a very talented player, surprising in her ideas and the music flows naturally but a little more rock could have been good.
The songs are outstanding and the influences abound from Keith Emerson (Alive) to Supertramp (Seeker) in a jazzy environment.
So if you are in the mood, just throw your shoes away and chill some white wine while you relax with this music. Three/five stars easily.
steelyhead

If jazz has become a niche market in the music industry (and it is), a contributing factor for its slide into cultural irrelevance is a failure to promote and support new artists. No matter what sub-genre of jazz you personally love, across the board there is no sustained effort to develop a roster of first-tier talent in jazz. Every so often along comes a Esperanza Spalding who joins the long list of previous "saviors" of jazz such as Wynton Marsalis or Robert Glasper and is saddled with the unasked-for responsibility of reviving interest in the incredibly shrinking jazz field.
Writing in The Root.com, Frank McCoy painted a gloomy picture for the idiom, "It's even harder in jazz today as CD/album sales have plummeted. In 1999 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said that jazz sales were 3 percent of all recording sales. By 2008 they were 1.1 percent. In 2000 Soundscan reported that 18,416 jazz albums were sold; nine years later, fewer than 12,000 jazz-genre albums were purchased."
For jazz not only to thrive, but survive, it must begin to create its own superstars who can deliver a much-needed shot of adrenalin to the flagging art form, but possess skills in social media and marketing, creating a global brand, and finding new forms beyond record sales, radio play and live gigs in fewer clubs and concert halls to reach the new breed of jazz fans.
Hiromi Uehara is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the vanguard of bold creative minds revitalizing jazz. At 35, the pianist from Shizuoka, Japan, has over the span of nine albums as a bandleader and solo artist demonstrated how well she absorbed the tutoring of Ahmad Jamal and bassist Richard Evans when she matriculated at the Berklee College of Music. Hiromi has led two separate bands, Hiromi's Sonicbloom and The Trio Project and stints with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, as well as a duet with Chick Corea have solidified her credentials as one of the best and brightest young musicians in contemporary jazz.
Matching her inclination for improvisation, drummer Simon Phillips and bassist Anthony Jackson hold down the rhythm responsibilities, freeing up Hiromi to do things with a piano most human beings can't begin to imagine doing. Alive might be the finishing stroke in a trilogy of adventurous albums for the band. Nothing has been said by Hiromi to indicate the group has run its course, but there is a sense of finality and completion to this musical affair. Always a restless musician, it remains an open question as to how long Hiromi will continue this collaboration.
With Voice (Telarc, 2011) and its sequel, Move! (Telarc, 2012), Hiromi found in Phillips a drummer who could match her high velocity piano playing blow-for-blow. Jackson is the silent partner in the band who rarely takes solos and simply does his job with equal parts efficiency and creativity. He's given opportunities to step out on Alive, but Jackson's temperament leans to deferring to his colleagues when it's time to let it all hang out. Overlength is at times an issue with four tracks going nine minutes in length, two clocking in at eight minutes. "Seeker" and "Firefly" both push past over seven minutes and at 6:49, the closing "Life Goes On" draws the shortest straw. Play strong, play long is the philosophy of The Trio Project, which is not a criticism, but to fully appreciate Alive , completed in only three days with Michael Bishop handling co-producing duties along with Hiromi.
Alive makes no bones about being a deep dive that may require several listens to fully grasp the complexity of Hiromi's compositions. This is not simple music nor a record one pops into the CD player during a pizza run.
Sandwiched between the four albums with her Sonicbloom band and the trio of Trio Projects is Place To Be (Concord, 2010) Hiromi's solo piano exercise where she proved even accompanied only by a piano she is a force to be reckoned with . When David Fiuczynski came aboard for 2007's Time Control (Telarc) Hiromi could finally realize her jazz and rock synthesis with a guitarist as expressive (and equally prone to occasionally lapsing into excursions of stylistic excess) as herself. Phillips fills that role now far more harmonically than Fiuczynski whom occasionally had to struggle to be heard over Hiromi's piano pyrotechnics.
Hiromi has learned to trust her bandmates (and herself) simply play instead of continually dazzle with an onslaught of prodigious speed and technique. "Dreamer" is an example of that restraint with Phillips and Hiromi duking it out on their respective instruments until the 8:04 mark where they both pull back and gracefully close the frenzy with an understated climax. "Seeker" gives Jackson's contrabass a soulful groove for his partners to work around and have some fun.
Ahmad Jamal nailed it when he observed, "Hiromi has discovered her own genre, and continues to pursue it with great sensitivity, energy, and dazzling virtuosity." As time passes and her experience grows, Hiromi has not only become a better player, but a better listener. Compare the tasteful understatement of 2014 version of Hiromi onthe elegant "Firefly" with the frenetic, bug-on-a-hot-stove of 2004's "Kung-Fu World Champion" and the difference is like that of night and day.
Dare we call Alive the dreaded "F" word? Fusion? Yes, we can and yes we should because this is most definitely and unashamedly jazz fusion. Even without the electric guitar of John McLaughlin, or the arsenal of synthesizers employed by Herbie Hancock, The Trio Project is a legitimate inheritor of the legacy left behind by Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius when Weather Report called it a day.
That's heavy company, but Hiromi's Trio Project is one of the most consistently exciting and accomplished bands making music in any genre of music. Period. End of sentence. That it is also flying under the radar of most consumers is a sad commentary on jazz today, yet still provides hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Jeff Winbush




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