Contemporary Jazz

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Head To Hiromi's Place

25 JAN 10 JONATHAN WIDRAN

30-Year-old Japanese piano virtuoso Hiromi has been on a dizzying career roll leading up to the release of Place To Be, her highly anticipated first solo piano recording in a frenetic seven-year recording career that began with her 2003 Telarc debut Another Mind.

The multi-talented composer/performer's 2008 set Beyond Standard featuring her supergroup Sonicbloom snagged a batch of major awards, including Album of the Year at the 50th Japan Record Awards and several top honors in Swing Journal. In '09, she followed the release of Duet, her dual live album with Chick Corea (whom she first played with at 17) with two concert performance DVDs. Considering that she's performed live throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and beyond, it's logical that she would use this intimate solo format to fashion a colorful and reflective travel journal.

The imaginative song titles spark snapshots of a handful of the places she's been and beyond, from "Sicilian Blue" and "Bern Baby Bern" to "Capecod Chips," "Islands Azores" and "Choux A La Crème." Hiromi winks slyly at her dual love for classical music with her take on "Pachelbel's Canon," and Elvis just might be smiling down on the colorful suite of three tunes she dedicates to Sin City: "Viva! Vegas: Show City, Show Girl," "Daytime in Las Vegas" and "The Gambler."

Recorded just days before her 30th birthday last March, the set is also an ode to the 20s she just left behind and the folks she met on the road who contributed to her amazing journey as a musical force of nature.

in this playlist.