Winner of the Surround 2004 Horizon Award
Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
Pianist/composer Hiromi, who mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind, revisits that space between the ears with the release of Brain. The album features fellow Berklee-bred musicians Tony Grey (bass), Martin Valihora (drums), as well as special guest bassist Anthony Jackson. The album will also be released as 5.1 Surround Sound SACD (Super Audio CD).
The wildfire ignited by this Japanese-Bostonian's debut album spread all the way back to her homeland, where it went gold by the end of the year. Noting Hiromi's "facile technique and...fiery musical temperament," The Los Angeles Times praised Another Mind for its tendency to "vibrate and surge with the non-stop sensory stimulation of the ginza, with busy bass lines and crisply dissonant harmonies."
The firestorm intensifies this year with the release of Brain, an album comprised of eight brand new compositions that are contemplations of groove, virtuosity, "Black Page" arrangements, and make-you-go-ooohhh! excitement. Worldwide touring over the past year-and-a-half has fanned the flames and spread the word…..this chick is bad! She recently performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York, the International Association for Jazz Education and the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle. Expect even more in 2004.
Unlike her first release, Brain is a straight-up trio album, with bassist Anthony Jackson filling in the low end on three of the tracks. Without a doubt, this album expands on her furious keyboard skills and genre dissident flair. The eight tracks on Brain are brand new Hiromi compositions that highlight the flexibility of the trio, showing its many faces and colors, and pushing it to its limits of orchestral complexity. The resulting album is a virtual gallery of evocative musical pictures.
The opening track, "Kung Fu World Champion," parades the trio's ability to groove in an amazingly complex chart. Each player shows virtuoso talent while the composition itself has so much energy and movement that it leaves you gasping. On the other side of the coin, "Green Tea Farm," is a beautifully passionate solo piano piece that emanates emotion. The piece was inspired by Hiromi's grandparents' green tea farm in Japan. Styles change up again on the title track as the group hits a Chick Corea-esque Latin jazz piece. Deep grooves follow in the slow-dirty-funk, "Keytalk," wherein Hiromi's keyboard mimics a classic Bootsy Collins bass run through a guitar talk box.
The diversity of this album runs the gamut of rock, jazz, and classical. Her use of keyboard on this album generates moments of spaceman sounds similar to Radiohead or Flaming Lips, while her arrangements would make Zappa and Beethoven grin and nod their head in time, P-Funk style.
This 25-year-old "youngblood" started playing piano at age 6. She studied at the Yamaha School of Music as well as Berklee. At 14, she preformed with the Czech Philharmonic. At 17, she performed with Chick Corea. Ahmad Jamal has also taken her under his wing. In Japan, Hiromi logged in some time writing advertising jingles for companies such as Nissan. She is now writing for herself, from her heart, and the impact is more intense than a Kung Fu chop.