AUTHOR: ALESSANDRO ALBANO
The first performance of the Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara and The Trio Project at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Wednesday 18th November was literally electrifying. But it was much more than that.
After the Paris tragedy happened on Friday 13th November, going to a concert or to a cultural event has acquired a new meaning. It is not just about music or art, it goes beyond.
It is about the freedom to enjoy every day life. It is about regaining that freedom taken for granted.
Hiromi Uehara and her Trio have made the public forget about the world outside, putting their music at centre of the scene. With the bass guru Anthony Jackson and the Londoner Simon Philips on the drums, Hiromi has carried the public in new musical scenarios, where unpredictability is the key. «A roller-coaster ride of musical pyrotechnics that veers between breath-taking displays of flat-out swing to the power of hi-energy rock», as London Jazz has described the performance.
Two sets with intermission which have revisited the last Trio’s album, Alive, and a piano solo taken by Hiromi’s solo project Place to be.
Hiromi is an «extravagantly dynamic and forceful presence on any stage…» (The New York Times). For two hours she has literally set the Hall on fire. Her hands rolled on the piano with such a light heaviness, always absorbed by new wacky musical dimensions.
A captivating contrast happens each time Hiromi stands up from the piano; speaking to the public, she discloses her fascinating demeanour and shyness which vanish a soon as she starts playing.
The rhythm section, Anthony Jackson and Simon Philips, has provided the «perfect backdrop» (London Jazz). An intense and fierce dialogue between the bass and the drums, which has given its best during the performance of Player; a furious elegant interplay between two jazz masters.
It does not exist any adjective that correctly fits for «one of jazz piano’s most brazenly virtuosic players» (JazzTimes) and her Trio. As she said «I don’t want to put a name on my music. Other people can put a name on what I do. It’s just the union of what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don’t want to give it a name.»
It is just Hiromi. Beyond Good and Evil.