Fans of innovative music were treated to a special concert at Broward College in Davie earlier this week – Hiromi Trio: Concert at Bailey Hall Presents.
Led by Hiromi (full name is Hiromi Uehara or 上原 ひろみ), the trio includes Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips. The three have been working together for several years now and it shows. You can see the connection on stage.
As we sat in Bailey Hall, Hiromi played piano with tremendous energy, even ferocity, on one side close to the front of the stage. Jackson sat comfortably and relaxed in the middle, back a bit, on the contrabass guitar. Phillips was on the right playing drums at varying levels of intensity depending on the moment.
While Hiromi is the star of the show, she chose some outstanding talent to accompany her. Anthony Jackson is an accomplished bassist. His credits include working with Madonna, Chick Corea, Steely Dan, Chaka Khan, Buddy Rich, Paul Simon, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. From Wikipedia: “He has performed live in more than 30 countries, and has recorded in more than 3000 sessions on more than 500 albums.”
Drummer Simon Phillips is no slouch either. He was with rock band Toto for 22 years and has played with Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Judas Priest, Tears for Fears, Whitesnake, David Gilmour, Frank Zappa and, as with Jackson, many more. “He was the drummer for The Who in their 1989 American reunion tour, and appeared on solo recordings by band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.”
Hiromi is from Hamamatsu Japan, near Nagoya. She came to the US at the age of 20 and studied at the Berklee College of Music. She signed a record contract with Telarc at age 23 and has been touring since 2003. We spoke on the phone before the concert. She travels all over the world but has places in both Tokyo and New York City. She does not get to do much sightseeing on the road unless she has a free day, so she has little experience with the South Florida lifestyle. She does love to experience local cuisine and was looking forward to trying Cuban food.
Her music is commonly referred to as jazz or jazz fusion, though she doesn’t think her music fits so easily in such labels.
Our music expert said that it was outstanding. Hiromi put a lot of emotion into her performance. The music was both unique and interesting. The three blended their rhythms well.
Their new album, Spark, was just released in early April. It is available directly from her website, or on iTunes.
You can read a professional review of the album on All About Jazz, and see some bits of the music as well as Hiromi talking about it below: