another mind

Telarc CD 83558

Hiromi Uehara, piano; Mitch Cohn, bass; Dave DiCenso, drums; with guests; Anthony Jackson, bass; Jim Odgren, alto saxophone; Dave Fieczynski, guitar.

At the age of twenty-four Hiromi Uehara cuts a diminutive figure on the liner; this is her debut album and she wrote all the pieces. She explains the unusual techniques her piano teacher would use, such as; "Play red", "This section needs to sound like Dad".

She has updated this to; "This section needs to sound like a hurricane". Her opening track, "XYZ" explodes upon you with ferocious gusto, and it does not let up. "Double Personality" is a shade more restrained and we are introduced to other members of the ensemble, but it still maintains a manic feel. "Joy" opens with a thoughtfully restrained introduction. It is a conversational piece that reflects Hiromi's quieter approach; but there is always a sense of raw energy in her playing; a feeling of intensity. In "Dancando No Paraiso" the diminutive dynamo is off again, frenetically scampering over the keyboard, Dave DiCenso on drums joins in the fun, matching Hiromi with some splendid banging, I bet his arms ached. The title track "Another Mind" begins with some magnificent bass chords, this has an impressionist feel to it and includes some well worked percussion. "The Tom and Jerry Show" allows her technique to surface in best cartoon style; this is a delightful romp with a ragtime feel and a drawing of breath in the middle. Hiromi is an imaginative pianist, powerful, percussive and exciting. I hope we hear more of her; but please, don't go near this CD if you feel a headache coming on.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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