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Mon amour

Prologue: Gorgeous. Hiromi appeared tiny and smiling on stage at the Teatre Grec in Barcelona. Just one piano was waiting up there for her performance. She waved in a very good read though strained, and many thanks for it, Castilian. Maybe one missed it in Catalan, as usual. But what nobody missed was music, inventiveness, charm and an immense talent for performance and improvisation.

Hiromi Uehara (上原 ひろみ) is a passionate pianist and composer with a radiant personality. Born in 1979, she began studying classical music as a kid and then gradually introduced into jazz. At seventeen she met Chick Corea who invited her to perform at one of his concerts. Her debut came in 2003 with the album Another mind with which she tried to flee from the jazz and classical labels. Her creativity is born of herself and all that she has heard and learned: rock, classical and jazz of course, but refuses to put a name to her own music. Yes, you can assert her characteristic rhythmic interpretation, with a vigorous and subtle piano performance, of full of energy fluctuations that suddenly become a tender caress. In 2008 she recorded live with Chick Corea the Duets album including both own original tracks and versions of classics from the popular music as Lennon and McCartney and Vinicius de Moraes, jazz masters like Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, and even the Spanish classical guitar as Joaquín Rodrigo. No doubt this album with Corea was the final door for Hiromi to the prime line of contemporary jazz and staying  as the rare bird that she really is, and always will. Curiously, the name of Paul McCartney is again a link with another of the musicians who have worked with Hiromi: bassist Stanley Clarke, who played with Paul McCartney on his albums Tug of War (1982) and Pipes of Peace (1983). Hiromi joined Stanley Clarke Band on their 2010 summer tour, definitely a new support from one of the jazz greats of the past decades.

The concert of Hiromi within the Grec 2014 Festival of Barcelona drew basically from her latest solo album titled A place to be (2009), since her most recent works are part of The Trio project with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips. They have already recorded three albums: Voice (2011), Move (2012) and Alive (2014). And her performance was a triumph. No, the theater was not full, but the enthusiasm she aroused was memorable. She made the seats leave over, the feet moved with her piano gusts and made all us get up to praise her. A magical moment was when she rose to manipulate the strings of the piano getting to sound like a harpsichord and thus providing an imaginative new life into her jazz keys. Epilogue: Gorgeous.

Text by Juan Carlos Romero
Hiromi website www.hiromimusic.com
Photo by Sakiko Nomura courtesy of Festival Grec de Barcelona
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