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HIROMI UEHARA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Japan


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Hiromi Uehara picture
Hiromi Uehara biography
Born 26 March 1979 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

Hiromi Uehara style brings a wholly new approach to jazz fusion, as her prog influence is derived primarily from such artists as King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Frank Zappa rather than earlier jazz fusion artists. Her music is almost orchestral in scope, and each of the musicians she plays with has a virtuosic grasp of their instrument, allowing for each instrumentalist to have an approximately equal role in the direction of the music. Her music is more melodious than traditional jazz fusion but with an equally complex sense of rhythm. Time signature changes are not in short supply here.

Hiromi performed for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at age 14 and later wrote jingles for Nissan and other Japanese companies before becoming a professional jazz musician. She could be considered the protégé of Chick Corea, having met him when she was 17. She has performed with Chick on numerous occasions since then.

Hiromi produced her first album, Another Mind, in 2003, and has produced four others since that time.

Thanks to auralsun for providing this biography.

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HIROMI UEHARA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HIROMI UEHARA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 51 ratings
Another Mind
2003
3.81 | 36 ratings
Brain
2004
3.34 | 39 ratings
Spiral
2006
4.27 | 269 ratings
Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control
2007
3.87 | 40 ratings
Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Beyond Standard
2008
3.62 | 29 ratings
Place To Be
2009
4.02 | 93 ratings
The Trio Project: Voice
2011
3.90 | 34 ratings
The Trio Project: Move
2012
3.70 | 40 ratings
The Trio Project: Alive
2014
3.93 | 102 ratings
The Trio Project: Spark
2016

HIROMI UEHARA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 9 ratings
Duet (Chick Corea & Hiromi)
2009

HIROMI UEHARA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Hiromi Live in Concert
2009
4.45 | 10 ratings
Hiromi's Sonicbloom Live in Concert
2009
4.83 | 3 ratings
Solo Live at Blue Note New York
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Hiromi: Live In Marciac
2012
4.20 | 5 ratings
Move: Live in Tokyo
2014

HIROMI UEHARA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HIROMI UEHARA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HIROMI UEHARA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Trio Project: Spark by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 102 ratings

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The Trio Project: Spark
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The latest album from Hiromi Uehara's Trio Project largely finds the keyboard wizard continuing at what she does best - offering up technically adept, hooky jazz-fusion piano pieces with good command of mood and atmosphere. Gentler moments also get in here and there, with Wake Up and Dream being a particularly peaceful solo number. Simon Phillips gets some reasonable drum solos in on the title track and In a Trance, but isn't outright obnoxious about it so I'm inclined to let it slide. Though I prefer the earlier Trio Project releases somewhat, Spark still demonstrates that there's some creative juice left in the tank, though I can't put hand on heart and say that I don't think a lineup revision or expansion wouldn't help shake things up nicely.
 Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.27 | 269 ratings

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Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hiromi Uehara is a piano prodigy from Japan and this album seems to get tagged as her best. A four piece band of bass, drums, guitar and keyboards and the only name I recognize is that of guitarist David Fiuczynski who was part of the band SCREAMING HEADLESS TORSOS. I recently reviewed Hermann Szobel's only release from 1975 and him being somewhat of a piano prodigy himself it was interesting to compare the two albums. Hermann's is much more to my liking as it's a true Jazz/ Fusion release while Hiromi's album here veers into traditonal jazz territory too often for my tastes. Still a very good 4 star album in my opinion but it won't go down as one of my favourites from that sub-genre. I'm so glad to have finally spent some time with this album though.

So what we have here is an all instrumental concept album about "time". It's a little over an hour long but we also get an over 12 minute bonus track that fits well with the rest of the album. Up first is "Time Difference" and it starts with piano melodies only before it kicks in quickly to a full sound. Synths after 1 1/2 minutes as it settles down with bass and drums helping out. The guitar starts to trade off with the synths starting around 3 minutes. Nice section. Relaxed guitar and synths before 4 1/2 minutes and the guitar is crying out.

"Time Out" has a catchy and somewhat funky groove to it as the guitar comes in over top. Some humerous vocals from Hiromi played through her synths really makes me laugh as I work with this young Asian girl who moved here from China a few years ago. She's a great person by the way named Ying. Back to the piano and guitar led section but the funk is long gone. Beautiful piano melodies after 5 minutes. A pretty good song overall.

"Time Travel" opens with spacey synths which is a nice change as they create atmosphere. Tastefully picked guitar joins in but soon the piano arrives then drums a minute in as the atmosphere stops. Jazzy stuff with some nice drum work. Check out that guitar with bass and drums before 2 1/2 minutes. Oh my! Nasty keyboard sounds after 4 minutes as it becomes intense. Back to that uptempo jazzy sound at 4 1/2 minutes. This is impressive and especially the drumming starting before 6 1/2 minutes. The intro is reprised late.

"Deep Into The Night" is one of my favourites on here. It's so beautiful to begin with as we get relaxed piano and guitar. A full sound kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes before it settles back again with piano leading the way. It kicks in again after 4 minutes with piano still leading the way until after 5 minutes when the guitar takes more of the spotlight as the piano continues. A calm with piano only after 6 1/2 minutes then some impressive guitar a minute later then it becomes more powerful.

"Real Clock Vs. Body Clock = Jet Lag" is catchy with tempo shifts in play. Suddenly piano and an experimental but humerous section takes over. I like the guitar starting before 2 minutes as contrasts continue. Sounds like clavinet that ends before 4 minutes then some silliness again.

"Time And Space" does have more space to it as sounds come and go until it becomes steady after 1 1/2 minutes. Back to that stuttering sounds coming and going with space. The guitar starts to doodle starting around 3 minutes and continues until after 4 1/2 minutes when the piano takes over. It suddenly picks up around 7 1/2 minutes to end it.

"Time Control, Or Controlled By Time" opens with fast paced piano melodies then the guitar comes in ripping it up around a minute. It settles to a jazzy mode before 2 minutes. Some intensity starting after 3 minutes with random drum patterns and bass. A jazzy calm takes over after 4 minutes with the piano leading. It does pick up again with the guitar and piano leading. Great sound after 8 minutes with that guitar, drums and piano standing out.

"Time Flies" has these relaxed piano and synths for the first two minutes then the guitar, bass and drums join in. Pleasant is the word. I like this. Beautiful piano melodies come to the fore after 5 1/2 minutes. "Time's Up" ends it with a less than one minute closer. This sounds so amazing too with so much going on then out of the blue a man yells "Time's up!" and it's over.

If your more into traditional Jazz but don't mind those Fusion flourishes then you really need to check this girl out.

 Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.27 | 269 ratings

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Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Time Control
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Norbert

5 stars Time Control the first studio album by Japanese musician Hiromi Uehara's group, Hiromi's Sonicbloom, and her 4th studio album overall. I was a bit sceptical because of the artwork ( could be some J-pop) , but there is no reason to worry. It is a concept album centered about the idea of time, but because it is an instrumental album, without knowing the title of the compositions we would hardly notice this. We have here 9 tracks in roughly 61 minutes. Hiromi mainly uses her piano, synths are sparingly, but effectively used. Hiromi is accompanied in this project by David Fiuczynski on guitar, Tony Grey on bass guitar and Martin Valihora on drums. The guitar player is the strongest addition, but the other two musicians are great as well. The interplay between the musicians is absolutely outstanding, so the album not only about Hiromi's brilliant piano and keyboard playing. The music on this album is jazz-fusion, very technical and complex, but also quite melodic, if you have the sligthest interest for jazz music there is a lot to like here. Personally, I cannot say a bad word of Hiromi's any 9 compositions featured on Time Control. My favourite tracks are the opening Time Differences with magnificient interplay between Hiromi and David, then Deep into the Night featuring Hiromi's most beautiful piano work on this album, and Time Flies, an overwhelming piece of sound painting with a wonderful flow. In my opinion this album is an essental example of modern jazz fusion.
 The Trio Project: Spark by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 102 ratings

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The Trio Project: Spark
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Hiromi's music and musicianship is always of very high quality, and all her albums are worth picking up. This is Hiromi's latest, and like the previous three albums, features her 'Trio Project' with Anthony Jackson on bass and Simon Phillips on drums (Hiromi plays the piano and occasionally a synth). By now, her Trio Project albums all reveal a kind of formula, with the more difficult and progressive-rock oriented songs more concentrated nearer the beginning, coupled with a few quieter pieces, blues, and shuffles which are usually found in the latter half of the album (and usually one song features a humourous-sounding synth-lead). This album is no different in that respect (although it seems some of these tunes are their most-ever difficult to play - the display of virtuosity is clear). I myself prefer either her progressive-tinged pieces, or her quieter evocative pieces/solos, which I find to be more musical than her blues and shuffles (which is not to say that I don't like the latter styles, just that her forte is the former). This album I find to be a bit less musical overall than her other Trio Project albums (my favourite is 'Move'), as well as her more musical albums before the Trio Project (my favourite is 'Brain', but 'Spiral' is also great). This one seems a bit more formulaic than previous albums, and while there are some great tunes (eg "Dilemma", "Wake Up and Dream" and the title track), none of the songs quite reach the heights of 'Brain', 'Voice' or 'Move', or even her previous album 'Alive'. Saying this, the music is still very high quality, and if you like great drumming, you will be particularly pleased with this album. While I find the piano could be higher up in the mix on a number of the tunes, Phillips drums are right up front, the pieces are quite difficult to play and Phillips drumming is mesmerizing it is so good (just like Hiromi's playing in that respect). Phillips also gets in some great solos on this album, and even though I find the shuffles less musical, on this album you can't help but marvel at Phillip's amazing drumming on the key one ("What will be will be"). Like the other Trio Project albums, Jackson's work is also very solid, although he is not in the spotlight much (with very few solos). On balance, an excellent album although not quite as good as the first two Trio Project albums ('Voice', 'Move'), or her two best albums before the Trio Project ('Brain', 'Spiral'). I give this album 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.
 The Trio Project: Alive by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.70 | 40 ratings

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The Trio Project: Alive
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Awesome Virtuosity.

Hiromi's album "Alive" was my introduction to Hiromi. It was playing on the speakers inside a music store back in 2014 when it was released, and was so good I had to pick it up immediately. Her Trio Project with Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips is a really excellent venue for showcasing each of their talents. While her first albums often featured guitarists or horn players, truth be told Hiromi fills up the space better than most players (of any sort), and the Trio format gives her the freedom to do so. This album is a tour-de-force of excellent musicianship, not only by Hiromi but Jackson and Phillips as well. Phillips in particular plays out in a number of places, while Jackson only takes a few solos. But you can hear the virtuosity on every track, and there are a number of really innovative pieces here. As for the music, at 75 minutes, this is a long collection, with all but the last track a new Hiromi original. Like her other albums, this mostly features fast progressive rock-influenced jazz fusion, but with a mix of styles. And like her other albums, she titles most songs here thematically, this time in terms of action-oriented personal titles ("Seeker", "Dreamer", etc). There really aren't any bad tracks here. The first half contains more of the really fast and complex tunes, while more traditional jazz styles are concentrated in the latter half, and so the album might feel a bit front-loaded (for progressive rock lovers). But the playing is incredible on every track. My favourites include the first three ("Alive", "Wanderer", and the awesome "Dreamer"), and "Warrior" and the lovely quiet and slow "Firefly". These tracks alone come to 43 minutes, which is roughly the length of a regular vinyl album. Every Hiromi album also features a bluesy shuffle, and on this one it is "Spirit", although "Player" also shifts in and out of this, and to a degree the cover that she chose to close the album "Life Goes On". These are all very good, but not my favourites, and to my mind the album loses a bit of steam as it approaches the end, and so really the album doesn't so many tunes. Saying this, there is so much excellent music here, this is definitely worth picking up. Of her Trio Project albums, I place this just under "Voice" (which is second to her Trio Project excellent album "Move"). I give this one 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

 The Trio Project: Move by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 34 ratings

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The Trio Project: Move
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars The best Hiromi album. Virtually 5 Stars!

Perhaps more than on any other of her albums, Hiromi's virtuosity here is matched by a consistently high-quality and highly memorable set of compositions. While I find some of her albums lose steam closer to the end (eg 'Alive'), all the songs on this album are top notich and highly distinct, up there with her best compositions. The album opens with the double-pulse piano notes for "Move", which became one of Hiromi's live signature pieces, followed by the excellent and beautiful "Brand New Day". On virtually each album, Hiromi includes a song in which she plays a seemingly-talking synth for humourous effect, and on this album it is "Endeavor" (although her solos on it are on piano). "Rainmaker", the fourth track, is one of her best songs, a really definitive melody. After this comes 20 minutes of a three-part suite called "Suite Escapism" broken into three parts, all of which is really fantastic! The first and last parts ("Reality" and "InBetween") involve some incredibly fast playing - it is difficult to believe anyone can play the piano this fast. The middle part ("Fantasy") is very slow, and among my favourite of her quiet slow ballads. The second-last piece, "Margarita", is basically a funky shuffle, and while it is (to my ears) the weakest track on this album, it is still in the top 50 percent of her tunes - much better than any of the weaker songs I can think of from her other albums. Part of the reason for this is her quirky and unique solos (both synth and piano). The final composition on this album, titled "11:49", is almost twelve minutes of bliss, and like "Rainmaker" one of Hiromi's best-ever pieces. find this to be one of Hiromi's most consistent albums. I give this 8.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just 0.1 away from a 5 PA Stars.

 The Trio Project: Voice by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 93 ratings

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The Trio Project: Voice
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Very Musical.

The first official album of her Trio Project with Simon Philips and Anthony Jackson, this is a consistently strong and musical collection. The trio format is, I think, the best for not only showcasing Hiromi's amazing talents, but gives her the freedom to structure her pieces, and with Simon Philips on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass Hiromi is matched in talent. Her keyboard skills are amazing, in terms of sheer speed and complexity, able to string notes together in a highly musical way, and in her abilities to create very different kinds of soundscapes with just a piano (and single synth). This album seems more musical than other albums, I think for a couple of reasons. First of all, her piano is more upfront with more bass response, and second here she is playing with less of a staccato approach, using the sustain pedal more with fewer jarring transitions between parts. Of course, I think many of the latter can also be highly musical, but they can also jarr. Furthermore, the tunes on this album mostly do not seem composed in order to impress for their virtuosity, which one finds on albums like Time Control or Alive, but instead are softer and seem to be written for their sheer musicality. While there are highlights on this album (the title track that opens the album, for instance), they do not stand out as high as the obvious tracks on her previous albums, but there are really no lows, either. (The last track, Hiromi's cover of Beethoven's Pathetique Piano Sonata, for me, doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, although it is excellent on its own terms). Like on earlier albums, Hiromi adds some humour with talking synth lines, but on this album they are not nearly as prominent (mainly a few parts in 'Now or Never' and 'Desire') and they are more embedded into the regular piano lines. While I think her follow-up to this album is her best ('Move'), this album comes close in terms of sheer excellence and musicality. But really, Hiromi's albums are all really high quality. I give this album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 4 PA stars.

 Brain by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.81 | 36 ratings

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Brain
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Her best pre-trio project album.

This is the album the set for Hiromi a trio approach, which allows her the freedom to really develop her style, and which she would later develop into her Trio Project. This album doesn't feature Simon Philips on drums, but instead Martin Valihora, but does feature Anthony Jackson on three tracks (as well as Tony Grey on the others) on bass. This is my favourite of Hiromi's pre-Trio Project albums, and contains some of Hiromi's best compositions. And unlike her debut ('Another Mind') or her Sonic Bloom albums, which to my ears are a bit uneven, every track here is stellar. Hiromi has quite a musical sense of humour, usually communicated with talking-synth noises. These are on display here on two tracks - the opener "Kung-Fu World Champion" and the second-last tune "Keytalk". These tracks deviate a bit from her typical virtuoso piano-based work, and jazz purists might not like them, yet they bring a large smile to me. But the rest of the album is even better. This album contains my favourite Hiromi composition, "Green Tea Farm", a beautiful soft and delicate jazz piano piece. The musicality is also really exceptional on "Desert on the Moon" and "Legend of the Purple Valley", both of which feature Anthony Jackson on bass. These three songs are up there among HIromi's best. But in fact, the whole album is great and each of these songs seems to have more of its own identifiable character than pieces on her later albums. And while Jackson's playing is great as always, so is Tony Grey's bass playing, and this album seems to feature more bass solos than her other albums. This is an album that not only flows really well (as long as you like the quirky "Keytalk"), but it builds on itself with each track, so it propels you forward and makes you want to sit and listen to the whole thing. If you love her Trio Project albums, my guess is that you will love this album too. I give this album 8.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 4 PA stars.

 The Trio Project: Voice by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 93 ratings

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The Trio Project: Voice
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album saw Hiromi debut her current recording unit, the Trio Project, with Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips joining her on bass and drums respectively. Naturally, the spotlight is largely on Hiromi's piano and keyboard performances. Whilst subsequent albums would have a more prominent progressive rock influence, here it seems scaled back somewhat, the band focusing on delivering what comes across as an ECM-style jazz sound with enough fusion influences to avoid things becoming excessively dry. It's a good listen, but the unit would undertake more ambitious excursions on later albums, and is therefore worth a listen eventually but doesn't need to be your top priority when it comes to exploring Hiromi's work.
 The Trio Project: Spark by UEHARA, HIROMI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.93 | 102 ratings

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The Trio Project: Spark
Hiromi Uehara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Hydenseek

5 stars I met Hiromi by chance. I was strolling along the web looking for "I don't remember what" when I bumped into the picture of a crazy haired laughing Japanese pianist. I couldn't help throwing a glance at Wikipedia: "Hiromi Uehara is a Jazz composer and pianist? known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as post-bop, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions. "I love Bach, Oscar Peterson e Franz Liszt" - she said of herself ? "but also Ahmad Jamal e Sly & the Family Stone, Dream Theater and King Crimson". Progressive rock! A visit to Progarchives was then necessary. Hiromi's fourth album "Time Control" is here considered essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music! I had to listen to her, so I immediately opened YouTube and watched a few live performances: she blew my mind! In less than a week I watched all her YouTube videos and listened to some of her records. Time Control is essential, but Spark, well, Spark is different, maybe not an immediate record, but? something more. If Time Control is a prog album, Spark sounds different, if Time Control is jazz, undoubtedly Spark is more jazz, if Time Control is classical, no one can deny that Spark is more than classical. In few words Spark raises the bar: the title track starts with a 40 second piano classical tiny tune that leaves space to a prog-what-er-rock phrase which turns jazz before you can imagine. In less than two minutes Hiromi's Trio Project has declined all musical modern genres. "I don't care about genres" - tells Hiromi, Ok, anything will happen in the next 7 minutes: anything at any moment. Hiromi, Anthony Jackson (!!!) and Simon Phillips (!!!) think music at the speed of light and at the same speed conduct you anywhere? As Hiromi herself explains "When you feel a serious Spark for something, this will put you in an emotional and irrational state of mind, as In a Trance, and you want to be Take(n) Away, to the Wonderland, there are moments of Indulgence and of Dilemma, but What Will Be, Will be? You just have to Wake up and Dream? and All's Well, that ends well. Easy to say? Maybe! Easy to understand? I'm not so sure? I had to listen to it many times, well, I couldn't help doing so?she (they) put a spell on me. I saw the light, it was so fast, just as only the light can be, I fear I'll never recover. If you kind of love jazz or feel open minded, this is the record to buy. Probably Hiromi's bands' best record.
Thanks to naturalscience for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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