Sometimes it’s just nice to sit back, relax with a cocktail, and simply listen to the music. This was the case on Tuesday night, where Hiromi Uehara, the prodigal jazz pianist, played two shows to a packed out BB King’s Blues Bar. Playing in support of her new album Voice, Hiromi brought along NY-native bassist Anthony Jackson (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Chick Corea), and London-based drumming sensation Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour).The Japanese-born Hiromi is something of a musical enigma, not allowing herself to be defined by any one genre of music; this was evident in her live performance on Tuesday. Her vituosic technique allows her to span the musical universe, at one moment playing a classical piece, then moving on to progressive rock, and ending up in the post-bop arena of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. It really is quite the experience to witness the magic that she creates on the keys.A few highlights of the evening were “Now or Never”, which had this funky, cool jazz feel to it and makes you feel as if you are strolling down the street of New York on a cool, sunny, spring day. Her playing on her Korg R3 Synth/Vocoder adds a whole other element to the sounds that she can create. Her finger-work on “Temptation” is a sight to behold. So quick, so efficient, and so difficult for your eyes and ears to keep up with. Hiromi’s solo piece “Place to Be” was majestic. It strangely brings one into the confines of Woody Allen-esque movie while listening to it. Her ability to create a time, place, and emotion with her music is something that is enviable, to say the least. Quite unlike anything that this writer has ever witnessed before.Typically attending stand-up, throw-down concerts, this change of pace was something that is almost necessary every once in a while. It makes you sit down, listen, and appreciate the actual composition itself. Putting on a blazer, a decent pair of shoes, sitting down and having a martini, or a bourbon old-fashioned has never been more enjoyable. It’s nice to feel classy every now and then. And while this may not be everybody’s cup of tea, per se, Hiromi does a fantastic job of bridging that gap to make it enjoyable to those that may be all the way over on either end of the spectrum. Her youth keeps her in touch with the today’s generation, while her ability and appreciation of those that have come before her makes her relevant with generation yesterday.Hiromi Trio At Garana Jazz Festival 2011:
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