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lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2016

Hiromi's Sonicbloom - Time Control (2007)


Lo prometido es deuda, así que empezamos con una semana a puro Hiromi Uehara, la genial tecladista japonesa, aquí muy bien acompañada (siempre lo está) en un jazz rock prog caliente que es su estilo definidfo desde siempre. Con ustedes, la japonesita de las teclas de fuego: Hiromi Uehara en el blog cabezón.

Artista: Hiromi's Sonicbloom
Álbum: Time Control
Año: 2007
Género: Jazz Rock / Fusion
Duración: 61:42
Nacionalidad: Japón


Lista de Temas:
1. Time Difference
2. Time Out
3. Time Travel
4. Deep into the Night
5. Real Clock vs. Body Clock = Jet Lag
6. Time and Space
7. Time Control, or Controlled by Time
8. Time Flies
9. Time's Up

Alineación:
- Hiromi Uehara / piano, keyboards, co-producer
- David Fiuczynski / electric & fretless guitars
- Tony Grey / bass
- Martin Valihora / drums




Pienso que Hiromi Uehara es uno de los nombres más importantes en el jazz-fusión del temprano siglo XXI. A diferencia de muchos otros artistas, ella sigue evolucionando y vuelve a definir su estilo, al punto donde cumplir las implicaciones de este último, se vuelve imposible. Ella es una tormenta perfecta de talento técnico y creatividad musical. Mezcla elementos dispares de música clásica, bebop, jazz-fusión, y prog-rock, como nadie más lo hizo antes.


Hiromi Uehara (上原ひろみ, nacida el 26 de marzo en 1979) es una compositora de jazz y pianista nacida en Hamamatsu, Japón. Es conocida por manejar una técnica virtuosa, y ofrecer unas actuaciones colmadas de energía, mezclando en sus composiciones, géneros que van desde el jazz, pasando por el rock progresivo, la música clásica y la música de fusión.
Hiromi empezó aprendiendo música clásica a la edad de seis años. Cuando tenía ocho, su profesora de piano Noriko Hakita la introdujo en el mundo del jazz. Cuando tenía catorce años tocó con la Orquesta Filarmónica Checa. A los diecisiete años conoció a Chick Corea de casualidad en Tokio, y la invitó al concierto que tenía al día siguiente. Tras trabajar como compositora de jingles durante unos cuantos años para compañías japonesas como Nissan, ingresó en el Berklee College of Music, en Boston, Massachusetts.2 Allí, fue instruida por Ahmad Jamal, y antes de terminar su graduación ya tenía firmado un contrato con el sello discográfico de jazz Telarc. Fue alumna de Oscar Peterson, al que agradece la mayor parte de sus conocimientos en cuanto a la improvisación en el jazz.
Desde su estreno en el 2003, Hiromi ha hecho giras por todas las partes del mundo, y ha aparecido en numerosos festivales de jazz.
Wikipedia

Recomiendo encarecidamente este álbum a todo el mundo. Hiromi, en su propia y maravillosa forma, logra hacer que la fusión de jazz suene casi como rock sinfónico, aunque obviamente no sean ni remotamente similares. Hay rastros de bebop, de puro jazz-fusión, funk, cualquiera sea el infierno que le guste, como pone de manifiesto, pero usted nunca notará la diferencia. Hiromi no se guarda nada. Lo suyo no es la reflexión, lo angular, lo abstracto, los sabios silencios. No. Para nada. Ella es incendiaria, le brota la música por los poros, no deja nada por tocar. Alguno podría pensar “uffff…corre carrera con los dedos..” y no es así. No me da la sensación de que su extremo virtuosismo tape el sentido de la melodía.

Que piensan uds del tiempo? es solo una forma de medir nuestras vidas? de pensar que tenemos el completo control de nuestras vidas?
pensando en esto hice esta pregunta a mi amigo Usul y esto fue lo que me contesto...
Cito textual: "Culpas, ansiedades, expectación, esperas, proyectos, planes, arrepentimientos, recuerdos, fantasías, esperanzas, satisfacciones… el ser humano se define como tal por su relación con el tiempo. Desde los primeros años de nuestra existencia, cuando dejamos de ser animales completamente entregados a nuestros instintos, aprendemos el lenguaje y vivimos en carne propia la experiencia de la frustración y el control social, vemos mutar nuestra naturaleza de forma radical. Nuestra relación con el mundo se vuelve consciente, comenzamos a notar cómo pasan las horas, los días… nos sincronizamos con nuestro entorno y así actuamos, como formando parte de una inmensa danza humana. Somos capaces de recordar nuestro pasado, de anticipar nuestro futuro, y por lo tanto, de ser conscientes de los cambios que ocurren y ocurrirán en nosotros mismos y en el mundo que nos rodea. Nos convertimos en seres temporales, intelectuales, pensando en lo que fuimos, en lo que seremos, en lo que podríamos ser. En vez de vivir la vida, preferimos imaginarla, planificarla, recordarla, mientras nuestro cuerpo pletórico de vida, de sensaciones, emociones, señales y expresiones queda relegado a un plano de letargo, de inconsciencia y olvido. El tiempo nos hace humanos, pero a cambio se lleva mucha de nuestra experiencia en el presente. De cada uno de nosotros depende recuperar aquello que nos fue robado: vivir este momento, en este lugar, sintiendo fluir la vida en cada una de las cosas que nos rodean."
Bueno, El disco de Hiromi's Sonicbloom tiene mucho de lo escrito anteriormente, Ellos (ella especialmente) toman en toda la amplitud el concepto de Tiempo dandole diferentes caracterizaciones y significados.
Ahora bien hablemos un poquito de la señorita Hiromi Uehara...
Hiromi Uehara nacio el 26 de marzo en 1979 y es una compositora de jazz y pianista nacida en Hamamatsu, Japón. Es famosa por poseer una técnica virtuosa, y ofrecer unas actuaciones llenas de energía, mezclando en sus composiciones estilos que van desde el jazz, pasando por el rock progresivo, la música clásica y la música de fusión. Hiromi empezó aprendiendo música clásica a la edad de seis años. Cuando tenía ocho, su profesora de piano Noriko Hakita le introdujo en el mundo del jazz. Cuando tenía catorce años tocó con la Orquesta Filarmónica Checa. A los diecisiete años conoció a Chick Corea de casualidad en Tokio, y la invitó al concierto que tenía al día siguiente. Tras trabajar como compositora de jingles durante unos cuantos años para compañías japonesas como Nissan, ingresó en el Berklee College of Music, en Boston, Massachusetts. Allí, fue instruida por Ahmad Jamal, y antes de terminar su graduación ya tenía firmado un contrato con el sello discográfico de jazz Telarc.
Desde su debut en 2003, Hiromi ha hecho giras por todas las partes del mundo y aparecido en numerosos festivales de jazz.
El trío de Hiromi inicialmente consistía en en el bajista Mitch Cohn y el batería Dave DiCenso. En 2004, grabó su segundo álbum Brain, con el bajista Tony Grey, antiguo compañero de Beerklee, y el baterísta Martin Valihora, y desde entonces la formación no ha cambiado. El 19 de octubre del 2006, el trío añadió a David Fiuczynski a su conjunto en el Jazz Factory, en Louisville, Kentucky. Desde entonces ha aparecido con ellos en sus dos últimos álbumes, Time Control y Beyond Standard, además de acompañarles en las giras de sus conciertos.
El disco comienza con Time Difference, un tema de inicio algo melancolico y agil, y que en un principio es la guitarra donde lleva la idea principal, dandole el pase a Hiromi quien con su talento nos lleva por distintas emociones a travez de todo este tema, un tema bastante alejado del sonido jazz y mucho mas cercano al Prog Fusion, Escuchando solo este tema queda creo que bastante claro la direccion del disco, un disco muy entretenido y recomendado.
Time Out, es tema con mucho groove y sabor, donde el protagonista indiscutido es la guitarra que tiene un sabor muy funk en este tema, tema bastante equilibrado y simple por lo demas un lugar donde todos tienen su espacio para demostrar lo que saben y vaya que si saben estos chicos. Si me pidieran clasificarlo en una palabra seria entretenido, si señor.
Time Travel comienza con una intro muy timida, como si saliera de las profundidades del silencio para dar paso al desenfreno que vendra despues. Es un tema muy agil, con muchos cambios no solo de ritmo sino tambien de armonia y estilo. El solo de guitarra es realmente de locos y en general es un tema que recoje bastante bien el concepto y la imagen del viaje a traves del tiempo. Y tal como empieza termina este tema.
Deep Into the Nigth, es un tema mucho mas calmo que los anteriores, al menos la primera parte, donde guitarra y piano se llevan el protagonismo, y donde ambos nos llevan por un viaje lleno de matices gracias a una bella melodia. Esta de mas decir el virtuosismo entregado en este tema es del mas alto nivel, sobre todo en los solos donde no solo el virtuosismo esta, sino que tambien esa pasion siempre tan necesaria en una buena improvisacion.
El siguiente tema, Real Clock Vs. Body Clock = Jet Lag, es la imagen, tal como su nombre lo dice, de la batalla del ser humano contra el paso del tiempo. Eso si, el tema en si no es dramatico ya que nos muestra la imagen de la desincronizacion cuando nos enfrentamos a una estructura rigida, tal como es el tiempo, implacable. Musicalmente el tema es muy agil y blusero, rico en texturas y sonidos y no decae en todo su transcurso. Entretenidisimo.
Time and Space, un tema casi balada, de tempo medio y muuuy espacial y por lo demas muy misterioso e inquietante. Este tema nos muestra la imagen del hombre dentro del espacio, una imagen muy solitaria y lenta. Como siempre guitarra y piano son los protagonistas. Este es un tema que simplemente nos permite soñar y relajarnos.
El tema que le da el nombre al disco (o es el tiempo?) Time Control, Or Controled By Time rompe con esa tranquilidad que nos dejo el tema anterior, El piano entra furiosamente a romper esquemas al cual luego se le unen los demas para formar una verdadera maquina sonora, perfecta y sincronizada. Este es un tema bastante complejo, endemoniadamente agil y es un claro ejemplo de la versatilidad de este grupo. Recomendable totalmente.
Time Files nos trae la calma luego de la aplanadora que fue el tema anterior, el tema comienza melancolicamente, evocando al pasado, tal como su nombre lo dice, para luego decantar en un tema mucho mas "estandar" por decirlo de alguna forma. El solo de Hiromi siempre muy virtuoso, apasionado e inteligente. Un tema hermoso y hasta romantico.
Ya cerrando el disco esta Time's Up que no es mas que un pequeño adelanto de lo que seria su proximo disco Beyond Standard, me parece mas una pequeña humorada entre amigos.
Y como bonus este disco trae el tema Note From The Past aduciendo claramente a Time Files, es mas ambos temas van por la misma senda "estandar", solo me cabe destacar esa fuerza que sale de aca, esa potencia contenida con que tocan, Ademas de ser un tema muy melodico es tambien bastante complejo en su estructura y creo que no esta de mas decir que tambien es muy rico en sonoridades.
Concluyendo, Time Control no solo se queda en el concepto, gracias a este grupo de excepcion la conceptualizacion del Tiempo es llevada al terreno musical de una forma mas que brillante, y sobre el disco en si es un trabajo redondo, perfecto e inteligente, donde la musicalidad y el manejo de atmosferas es genial. Disco recomendado 100% no solo si eres fanatico del sonido [Fusion], sino de la buena musica en general.
Ovejuno

Si no están convencidos con los comentarios, aquì hay algunos comentarios de terceros y en inglés. Aunque les recomiendo que no pierdan tanto tiempo en leerlos.

Hiromi: Time Control Should one listen chronologically to Hiromi Uehara's still-young musical output, Another Mind, Brain, and Spiral, then Time Control should come as no surprise. Hiromi has been progressing toward the outer reaches of fusion with every release, and with the addition of Screaming Headless Torso guitarist David Fiuczynski to her lineup, she has achieved the synthetic Nirvana previously achieved only by Jeff Beck's historic mid-'70s Sony albums Wired (1976) and Blow by Blow (1975).
On Time Control, the pianist largely restricts herself to the acoustic piano, giving the recording a firmly grounded tradition while her approach to the 88, coupled with Fiuczynski's guitar playing, hurl the music into hyperspace. The pianist's classical training is readily evident on pieces like the opening "Time Difference" and "Time Control, or Controlled by Time." Her chordal modulation is breathtaking in its virtuosity. "Time Control" evidences keyboard-guitar interplay with an impressive velocity. In total, this music is fresh and iconoclastic, bearing an assembly of styles and abilities. As it turns out, Hiromi has quite the sense of humor, as evidenced on "Real Clock" and the closing "Time's Up."
David Fiuczynski is given rock-star treatment as a member of the band. His playing on Time Control is reminiscent of the Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane collaborations on Time is the Enemy, Temporal Analogs of Paradise, and Personae. The guitarist's chops are beyond reproach, and in Hiromi's Sonicbloom, he finds a jazz soulmate. His presence on this recording helps the leader achieve her goal of perfectly integrated fusion. Hiromi Uehara is emerging as an important artist who stands to introduce significant and lasting changes in the idiom of jazz fusion.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Japanese keyboardist Hiromi Uehara’s 2003 CD, Another Mind, was the kind of stunning, unpredictable debut that left no room for anything but the sophomore slump of 2004’s comparatively predictable Brain. Last year’s Spiral inched closer to her stratospheric first impression, but Hiromi officially gets her groove back with Time Control, thanks in part to guest guitarist David “Fuze” Fiuczynski of the Screaming Headless Torsos.
The guitarist matches Hiromi’s classically influenced runs note-for-note on the opening “Time Difference,” setting a blistering early pace. Bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora, onboard since Brain, gel in support of their maniacal bandmates. The pair makes 4/4 time sound like anything but on “Time Travel,” and guides Hiromi and Fiuczynski through the rhythmic maze of the stop-and-start “Time and Space.”
“Time Control, or Controlled by Time” opens with the kind of dizzying piano runs that permeated Another Mind, and “Time Flies” features her creative synthesizer work. Even the dreaded untitled closing hidden track can’t derail Time Control, thanks to the call and response between Fiuczynski and Hiromi. The guitarist gives her trio exactly what it needed to succeed again at this high level.
Bill Meredith

Existence with the ability of the performance and the composition might be a valuable element. The element always appeared remarkably in the work after she had announced the debut album.
If it borrows her word, the music character is pursued. Or, the possibility to the music created by a minimum unit. They had the flow always calculated as a search for her music.
An overwhelming technology and the idea to make the listener listen by "Another Mind" and "Brain" were Jazz/Fusion that an exactly original quality that was is high. She tries so that may promote the flow further and may complete her original theme by her.
The possibility as the music that she thought about in "Spiral" and Trio might have received one the top. The part where "Movement" and "Quietness" in "Spiral" were had both ..composition.. had been finished about the possession fast and slow walking. And, the woman who drew out the possibility as Trio enough tries to proceed to the next step.
If the inquiring mind of Hiromi is considered of course, the flow that aims at the top further might have been able to be selected, too. However, the plan and the idea that she was always considering in the flow of the activity since "Spiral" that she announced in 2005 and the cultivated idea reach this album with some necessity.
The creation and the idea of the woman who reached a climax in "Spiral" started making the listener pleased to give width to the music character further with the form of the project. This album to which David Fiuczynski that participates in the recording in the debut album receives the guitar as a member and is recorded has the form of the project and the band. David Fiuczynski is a guitar player known by the performances such as Screaming Headless Torsos and Gongzilla. Hiromi was declared to be a fan of Screaming Headless Torsos. And, it will be able to be said that the appointment of David Fiuczynski is inevitable as the idea as the band that she was drawing after it competes in the debut album. To create the tune staring at the performance that four people do for the composition naturally, each musician's capability and ability will be tested. It is said that Hiromi will not do Improvisation to the subject for originally making the tune. It is said that the idea constructed as an impression almost completely will repeat the trial and error. The challenge as the complete music character that Hiromi creates might continue exactly. The theme of "Spiral" was a content to make the element of the wave exactly repeated, the life, and the impression in space an embodiment. And, "Time" is included as a theme in this album. People are differences at thinking time and time. Or, it is expressed as an album with the part where the element to make life and the change of people who unconsciously process time an embodiment as music has been given.
"Time Difference" continues the tension from a sublime unison of the piano and the guitar. Ensemble of the band has the flow considerably calculated. The sound of the keyboard also continues her originality. And, the conversation of responding keyboard and guitar will have width as a new possibility as the band. It is ..Jazz/Fusion with the tension.. finished as a complex rhythm is continued.
"Time Out" is a tune of which the element of Funk went out. However, the originality of Hiromi appears everywhere. The performance of the band that answers Ad-Rib of the guitar also contributes well. It carries exactly out the function as the band by introducing the guitar. A progressive element is strongly put out as complex development twining.
"Time Travel" starts from the sound with the anacatesthesia and the line of Bass. The progress of Chord twines round the impression that Jazz is good the flow of Fusion well and gives the tension. The tune might be completely calculated as a composition as the band. The piano and the guitar in close relation to legato fast continue the dash feeling. The flow of the chromatic scale has acted well as an impression of the tune, too.
"Deep Into The Night" is a tune with the flow that fast and slow overflows. The part as Jazz has been strongly considerably put out. The music character of Hiromi that bases the experience as Trio might act well. The width of the tune extends further with the flow pulled with the part of Fusion that the guitar is good.
Twining of the guitar processed by the effect and the piano of "Real Clock vs. Body Clock=Jet Lag" is impressive. It is a tune where the originality of Hiromi was expressed enough while having both the part of the complexity and the humour. The creation of Hiromi by which this tune also stared at the sound as the band has acted well.
"Time And Space" continues the flow with the anacatesthesia from the sound with the part of mellow. However, the band is given original development everywhere and progresses. It is a tune where the element as the band with a variegated sound was expressed well.
"Time Control,Or Controlled By Time" pulls the band with the melody with a fast piano. Progressive development and the sound are high-quality Jazz/Fusion. The flow that shifts from the flow of an overwhelming unison to Solo of Bass has succeeded as a tune, too. And, it might be a part where Solo of the drum also played the role as the band enough. The flow of an advanced tune exactly contains the possibility of the band enough with development to which the forecast doesn't adhere.
It is a tune where the sound of the keyboard that "Time Flies" is variegated appears. The processing of the sound of a beautiful piano and the keyboard might be along the theme of the album. A good guitar for the flow with the anacatesthesia twines with the piano. The flow that the sound of the band twines round the flow with the anacatesthesia in union will call impression.
"Time's Up" makes the flow from "Time Flies" more chaotic and reports the end of the album. The flow that plays the role of Outro gives reverberations to the entire flow of the album.
The challenge to the music of Hiromi was made an embodiment further by the form of this project.
çKazuhiro Kojima

If you want to hear how sounds mainstream jazz-rock fusion in the end of the first decade of new century, just listen this album. Hiromi Uehara is growing melting jazz and rock with every new album, and this one is evidence.
Very important is presence of guitarist David Fiuczynski on this album. Classically trained, with her roots in jazz, Hiromi found excellent partner for her piano sound. Very balanced mix of keyboards (or sometimes piano) and rock-edged guitar gave fresh and very pleasant feel to the music on this album.
In fact, deeply based on great fusion school of 70-s ( Chick Corea, first of all), this music is just modern reincarnation of fusion golden age. It's a very rare today successful mix of tradition and modern sound.
Being complex structurally and technically, this album is MELODIC , and it means that is easy accessible. As I mentioned above, the music there is a modern classic of jazz fusion, so don't expect to find there experimentation. But it is real gem for lovers of classic fusion, and possibly one of the greatest work of quality mainstream fusion of last decade.
Slava Gliozeris

Modern Jazz-Rock/Fusion is the true progressive music movement of its time. It makes no compromises, leaves no stone unturned, and never panders to its audience. You're either in or you're out. As of this review's writing (July 2010), that trend is showing no sign of letting up. If you want a good example of what real Prog is these days, pick up a Fusion record like this one. You'll laugh hysterically at how so many DT and Yes sound-alike groups are being recognized as the 'new' movement in the prog scene, when all of the actual progression is happening right here in artists such as Hiromi Uehara.
When I first saw a photograph of the undoubtedly beautiful keyboardist, I honestly thought she played pop music. That was my idiotic mistake. I judged by looks before ever hearing a single note of her music. Somewhere along the way (especially in US culture) it became a general consensus that attractive people don't make 'serious' art, while average-looking folks are the true hard workers. It's a very ugly attitude to hold, and I found myself guilty of outwardly displaying it in this case as I visibly did a double-take after seeing this woman in action for the first time. She's incredibly skilled, and what's more, she writes great music.
My previous paragraph was not intended as a slight to the Pop genre at all, but rather the 'popular' music of the time. We currently live in an era that ostracizes quality from quantity in a way I'm not sure has ever been more severe. Much more time is spent in selling faces and merchandise than the music itself. Pop music as a genre has its strengths and its weaknesses, and the best of it will always survive. But the concept of good-looks and bad music being mutually exclusive is something I often fall victim to, so i wanted to take the time to apologize to Ms. Uehara for my initial (and wrong) reaction to her image.
Back to the music. This is Hiromi's fourth studio album, and it's being played as an ensemble titled ''Hiromi's Sonicbloom''. Cutesy. The album starts off with the absolutely phenomenal ''Time Difference''. It's a track that begins with some classically-tinged lone piano, and soon David Fuze's guitar comes in and joins the piano. These two instruments carry on in unison until the rest of the band breaks in, and the song truly takes off. The marriage of technical prowess and musical passion is so perfect, mere words couldn't begin to do it justice. Just listen to the song yourself (The live version is even better!). Hiromi makes some great use of synthesized keys, here. Gives the whole thing a very otherworldly feel.
''Time Out'' might be my favorite track on this recording, but all o the pieces are equally great and so different from each other, it would honestly be unfair for me to make that claim seriously. All you really need to know is that it was with this track that I started really feeling the groove of the band for the first time. Much Jazzier and experimental than the previous work, it will send motions through your body whether or intended to dance or not. Where as synths were in more of a starring role in the first song, the focus here is mainly on the clean, no-hold-barred Jazz piano. The entire band is so tight here, but special props go to David Fuze for adding a very Space/Funk kind of vibe about a third of the way through and to Hiromi for playing the hell out of the piano all throughout the track. Without her crazy rhythms and technical skill, the song would certainly have not been the same. Martin Valihora really starts to shine on this track, also.
The next track, ''Time Travel'', has some truly awesome spacey soundscapes thanks to Uehara and Fuze's blend of bluesy guitar leads and ethereal keyboards. Soon enough, though, Valihora chimes in with some killer drum work, and the song really begins to take off. Some really fantastic guitar-piano unisons happen, here. The drums really do a fantastic job of keeping all the madness tight and together, while taking the time to impress as well. A crazy lead by Fuze comes in close to three minutes in and doesn't relent until nearly a whole minute later. Then the real wondrous moments happen thanks to Uehara and her distorted, funky keyboards; chugging away with so many odd rhythms and push-pull tempos, it's commendable how well the other instruments are able to keep up. Six minutes into the track, and the spine-tingling rhythmic riddles are still going strong. A truly wild and frantic track, all while still being able to make some sort of sense and never losing the listener. A few more unisons from Hiromi and David, then everything calms down once again at around seven minutes and sixteen seconds. The musical ideas introduced in the brief intro is resumed, carrying out the rest of the track. An amazing thing to hear.
''Deep Into The Night'' is the longest track on the record, and starts out with some fantastic smooth Jazz stylings before lunging into the most beautiful piano work of the album for me. Some of it fast, some of it slow and reserved, but all of it is very melodic and musical in nature. Fear not, however. The work on this song still remains very experimental and freeform; things just happen to be a little more chill and contemplative on this go-round. Much like with the first track, I don't really know what more I could say to send the point home anymore. I love the song, that's the bottom line. It's lovely. Get the album and hear for yourself how truly wonderful it is. That's all I can really say. The most melodically beautiful song this entire work has to offer.
''Real Clock vs. Body Clock = Jet Lag'' is not only the most cleverly-named song on the disc, but it is also the most musically representative of that name. There is a lot of push & pull in the tempos, and you truly feel like you're being pushed through time zones to the point of exhaustion. Don't worry, it's not the equivalent of listener's fatigue; just a lot of fun. Some ragtime piano and out of this world slide and wah guitar are found bridging the gaps between the madness. A fun and original little piece, but perhaps not as memorable as most others to be found on Time Control.
''Time and Space'' sends the listener back into the traditional Jazz influences of the album, and boy does it groove! Hiromi is on top of hr game here with all the staple Jazz chords and flourishes brilliantly placed and executed on her instrument. I realize I haven't mentioned Tony Grey's bass playing yet. Well, he's brilliant, as well. He is very noticeable on this particular track, and even when the sci-fi style signal noises start coming in from time to time, his influence on the track is always audible. This is a very calm, laid-back track with some spacey additions. Pretty unique, but that's a redundant statement on an album such as this. Saying any more would ruin the listening experience, surely. Just know that it's cool and smooth.
The song which could be referred to as the album's title track kicks off immediately with a type of controlled chaos only a master keyboardist like Hiromi could pull off. Once things calm down a bit, Grey breaks in with some tasty leads. He's no Victor Wooten in my book, but bass players who do lead work are certainly more capable than most 'traditional' players from the Rock realm. Newcomers to Jazz and Fusion music may find this a little startling at first, but Metal fans should already be used to the concept, at least a little. But it isn't just Grey taking the show for very long. The whole band comes in very soon, and Valihora does some of his best drum work on the record. Around the five minute mark, the piano becomes thick and groovy, with a bebop sort of attitude showing through the classically-inclined playing chops. Soon the frantic attitude is heard again from Hiromi, and David Fuze soon follows suit with some impressive lead guitar work. Hiromi is fantastic at backing up her band members, as well. She's more than just a lead-heavy show-off. She is great with simpler, rhythm-based riffs the serve as the foundation for the other instruments to shine to their full potential. A little after seven minutes in, the single reason for owning this album arrives. I cannot describe how it moves me, only that it does, very much. This leads into an incredible, drum-filled outro which brings the entire track to a sudden, memorable halt.
''Time Flies''. Hey, hasn't a much more well-known artist on PA recently released a song of the same title? Never mind, this ''Time Flies'' is much more original and inspired than the one Wilson and company stitched together (primarily using the tracks from Pink Floyd's Animals for the pieces). This feels like a gorgeous 'ballad' of sorts. Full of heart and genuine artistic flourish, it is the second song on this release that uses melody much more traditionally than the others, yet remains free and open to go in any direction it likes. Martin Valihora's light, musical touch on his kit really adds some great atmosphere to the overall piece. Truly terrific on all fronts, this track. Laying more 'Mood Jazz' strokes to this already-overwhelming piece of sound-painting, it is a cut on the album absolutely not to be missed.
''Time's Up'' may be the shortest track on the album (not even a full minute in length), yet it is one of the most exciting. The whole thing begins to build into what would undoubtedly be a memorable musical occurrence, when suddenly everything halts an an official-sounding voice utters the words "Time's up!", to which some indistinct studio chatter and last minute plinking of piano keys can be heard from a distance. The album ends on a promising note, ending with something of a question. What could have come from that initial rush of musical bliss? Perhaps someday in the future, we will find out.
It was suggested in a previous review that this album is accessible almost to the point where it lacks originality. While those were not the exact words used, I just want to take a moment and respectfully disagree. The music on Time Control may not be as 'out-there' as some other works in this genre floating around today, but it is no less inspired or forward-thinking. Plenty of experimentation is happening here, and I would put Hiromi Uehara up there with the current leaders of progressive music today. No, I don't mean 'Prog Rock', I mean any music that cares more about originality and individuality than genre or class.
To me, this is an essential piece. It's essential for more than one reason, but mainly, it is essential for demonstrating just how bright the future of music still is. I've gotten sick of syrupy keyboards and overly-long attempts at recreating the golden days of prog by modern day hacks. The era of Close to the Edge is over, and no self-respecting artist would even want to bring it back, I don't think. Music, like all art, must move forward in order to stay honest and interesting. A dishonest artist merely tries to recreate something he loved in the past. A truthful artist attempts to press musical evolution forward. If that individual succeeds, even a little bit, he or she should be commended and advertised as often as possible. I proposed to you at the beginning of this review that such artists can be found in modern Jazz music. In tomorrow's world, that may change. For now, however, I only see true creativity in musicians who dare to do absolutely anything they want, and I wholeheartedly believe that Hiromi Uehara is an artist who does just that. She makes music for the sake of music, nothing else. It's art in its purest, most honest form. This album is essential listening for people like me, who grow tired of all the copycats in todays supposed 'progressive' music world. If you are indeed like me in that regard, you absolutely must give this woman's music a try. Who knows, you may just start believing in music again.
Tell your friends. Music is not dead.
JLocke

easily one of the best jazz-fusion albums of the last 10 years. Hiromi's playing is fantastic, and the music has the energy of 70s fusion, mixed with modern sounds (especially by fretless guitarist Dave Fuze).
This album is also quite accessible, if you have even the slightest interest in jazz, you will enjoy this record.
I must say, when i first heard of Hiromi, i saw her album covers and thought it was some modern contemporary jazz, not pushing the boundaries, and probably boring or predictable. NOPE. The opposite. While it keeps the jazz tradition of "it must swing", that's about as far as tradition goes. The drums are out of control, the bass is tight, with that modern fusion bass tone, but it's Hiromi who takes the songs to new, unheard levels.
The best way i can describe this music, is she approaches fusion with a traditional/acoustic jazz mindset. But the compositions are very proggy, and quite progressive ;) so dont think it's straight ahead jazz with moogs and rhoades piano. This is electric fusion at its finest, and one of the more original jazz albums ive come across released in the 2000s. plus Hiromi is hot!
Mike

Easily the most exciting, consistently high-level, creative jazz fusion album I've encountered in the 21st Century. Yes, there are a lot of sounds, riffs, passages familiar from my long love for and association with the music of Chick Corea, but there also tons of fresh, mouth-jarring ideas expressed here--by all four of these incredible musicians. Guitarist David Fiuczynski is truly masterful and chamelonic in his playing--a brilliant foil to Hiromi's stellar, melodic, and often heartbreakingly beautiful keyboard playing. And the bass playing and drumming are often attention-getters, as well. I rate fully seven of this album's nine songs as absolute gems-- masterpieces of highly engaging jazz fusion. An album that has never strayed far from my disc player (especially in the car) since I got it a few months ago. So glad "classic" jazz fusion is still being explored and adored somewhere!
Drew Fisher

Hiromi Uehara's "Sonicbloom" albums feature her expanding the sound of her usual trio by adding David Fiuczynski on fiery electric guitar. This in turn allows Hiromi to really draw on the rock and prog influences which colour her fusion work, as demonstrated in the first Sonicbloom album, Time Control. Taking in influences from Zappa to Gentle Giant to the jazzier Canterbury outfits, Uehara keeps things rooted in fusion territory by focusing mainly on the piano and introducing more modern keyboard instruments only sparingly. The end result, then, refreshes the fusion sound of yesteryear with a healthy influsion of recent developments in more purist jazz piano circles, resulting in a unique and engaging sound. On balance, I think Hiromi might be the best-kept secret in fusion today.
W. Arthur

Although HIROMI UEHARA looks like a J-pop star posing on the cover of her first album as "Hiromi's Sonicbloom," the fact is she is one extremely talented virtuoso piano player who keeps extremely good company with her peers. I am in agreement with everyone else who thinks that this is some of the freshest contemporary jazz-fusion gracing the planet these days. TIME CONTROL is supposedly a concept album about time but since it totally instrumental who would ever know! I guess it's all those time signature changes that not only keep this album bopping and hopping but the entire theme as well.
I see this as an all encompassing celebration of all things jazz with many things prog rock and some classical and avant-garde thrown in for good measure. The brilliance is not only that every member is a virtuoso on their respective instrument but also that the interplay between these musicians is outstanding and impeccable. The trio of HIROMI (piano), Martin Valihora (drums) and Tony Grey (bass) found the addition of David Fiucynski on guitar to add a whole wealth of sounds to the former trio's soundscape. He is a self-described jazz musician who doesn't like to play jazz, so he takes all that jazz training and adds a wealth of funk, microtonal and ethnic inspiration to the mix.
HIROMI started playing piano at the age of 5 and was under the tutelage of Chic Corea so it's no wonder that there is a strong classic 70s jazz-fusion sound as the template here, but how these musicians improvise is where the magic lies on this one. It is thrilling and chilling and there isn't a dull moment on the whole thing. With all this talent it would be wrong to assume that every moment is about trading off solos. There is plenty of nice and slow breathing periods to let the music regenerate its intensity. My first HIROMI experience but certainly not my last.
wooF

I love Hiromi. I started with this album. It has guitar and that attracted me, however, the most important thing about this excellent album is that Hiromi created beautiful compositions and she is an outstanding piano player. Before listening to this album i had very little interest in jazz. Hiromi made feel interested in jazz. And that is because she mixed it with other ingredients. Listen to that piano, those grooves! Sentimental songs are lovely too. Everything is very well made and produced except that personally i think the drums lack hi end. An album that opened my mind to jazz for being accesible, groovy, funny and sentimental.
Marco Brusa

The second most important album of my life after Björk Homogenic. Surprising for a guy who has grown-up with a big dosage of pure prog like Genesis, Yes, KIng Crimson, to have Bjök and Jazz pianist Hiromi has his 2 greatest inspiration? At least to me it somewhat is. I have discovered Hiromi through a jazz magazine, on a article on the best Jazz Rock album of all time. There was a part on the best new artist in Jazz and Jazz Rock/Fusion, she had just release her second album, Brain, and I decided to give it a try, and bought a copy. As soon as I heard the first song, I already knew I would love it, what a great album. I immediately bought he first album and a another winner here. But when Spiral her third album was release, I was disappointed by it, it's good but not 4 stars+ material. I kind of forget her and went to other genre of music like Björk for instance.
In 2007, I suffer a big depression and one morning, I woke up with the desire to end it all, but a voice in me said that I should go take a walk to my local record store, when i'm down it always calm me down, being in a record store. So I went for the store and when I got to the Jazz section, I saw that a new album by Hiromi at been release that day. It said Hiromi's Sonicbloom, weird, is it what I think it is? Yep, I turn the album over and saw that she added a guitarist, David Fiuczynski, to her usual mix of Tony Grey on Bass and Martin Valihora on Drums. Since she had started her career, Hiromi was 80% Jazz, 20% Fusion. Being a big Fusion fan, and having a new album by an artist that you like coming out in 2007, with not just a Jazz album, but a Jazz Rock at that! I bought it and went to my bedroom, put my headphones, put the CD in the player, lied down on my bed and press play? To paraphrase Björk, in the song Headphones, she sing "My Headphones save my life", it's true, it did, during the song Deep Into the Night, I started to cry like I never did in my life, that song, from that album, save my life, in this particularly gloomy day. It's THE Jazz Rock/Fusion of the new millennium. She's it, one of the most brilliant young artist in Jazz and music in general. All of her album after that one are amazing, but my personal favourite, and I did review it, is Voice.
If you are a fan of Jazz Rock/Fusion, and you still haven't heard her music, don't wait a minute, and get Time Control quick, it's a definitive masterpiece of Jazz Rock + it's all been recorded live in the studio, no overdubs!!!!! 10 Stars Essential: a masterpiece of Jazz Rock music for the 21st century.
Etienne Brousseau

I have known this album for quite some time, and it did impress me a lot, but for some reason I "forgot" to post a review. Better later than never.
In the 21st century it must be very hard for a newcomer into the world of jazz fusion to establish themselves as an original artist, who nevertheless follows the general philosophy of the sub-genre, all the while being different enough to be noticed without sticking out the wrong way.
Hiromi's Sonicbloom doesn't seem to have a slightest problem with executing this delicate task to the exacting standards of fusion. There is one important way in which the Time Control (and a few other albums by Hiromi's band) is even better than the sub-genre classics: Hiromi does her flamboyant piano thing with greater animation and grooving than let's say Chick Corea used to in his time, and she doesn't seem to "piano down" her band members. You can clearly hear very competent guitar riffs, intricate bass lines and fantastic drumming as well as you can hear the piano and the keyboards instruments.
Hiromi's Sonicbloom also has the distinction of being a truly international collective that recruited its members from 4 countries on 3 continents, yet crystallized into a real band in Boston MA. Good for them, and good for all of us!
five / five stars without hesitation. A very enjoyable album to listen to.
Real T. Reel

What an impressive album! Truly great! I'm gonna run to buy it if I get the oppurtinity! 5 stars really. Some really good musicians making some good jazz like I never heard before. I'd tell to all jazz fusion lover get it right away. Hiromi is really a keyboard genius. Really progressive too. The rythm section is remarkable. The guitarist is a virtuoso. There's something fresh about this album, something new, something unseen but being still a undoubtful jazz fusion work just like Brand X. It sounds a bit like Brand X to me but, I really can't compare.
Run and buy it, you won't regret it.
The_Jester

This is my third encounter with jazzrock. The first 2 were (of course) with Mahavishnu Orchestra. When I read snobbs review of the album, I thought that this might be something I wish to hear. Now after listening to this for about a month I have formed my opinion.
The music here is quite accessibleat least to me. The mainemphasis is on Hiromis keyboard and piano playing. Guitarist David Fiuczynski also plays an important role on the album. I think he has very nice and at times personal style to play his instrument. Since Mahavishnu was prior to this the only Jazzrock band I knew, I inevitably heard some similarity, but not that much really.
Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in modern fusion, might even recommend this to Dream Theater/Jordan Rudess fans.
That´s it.
Sami Laitala

Ya saben dónde está esto, sino pregunten...



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