Recorded live at The Tokyo Blue Note, September 2007
Release date: February 4th 2009
Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes
Hiromi Uehara was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1979, taking her first piano lessons at age six before enrolling in the Yamaha School of Music a year later. By age 14, she had played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. She came to the United States in 1999 to study at the Berklee College of Music. Among her mentors at Berklee was jazz bassist Richard Evans who co-produced together with the great pianist Ahmad Jamal her debut album "Another Mind".
Ahmad Jamal: "She is nothing short of amazing. Her music, together with her overwhelming charm and spirit, causes her to soar to unimaginable musical heights."
Hiromi has so far released five albums on the Telarc label - "Another Mind" (2003), "Brain" (2004), "Spiral" (2005), "Time Control" (2007) and "Beyond Standard" (2008). With her band 'Sonicbloom', the influence of 'Return To Forever' is a strong feature.
Photo credit: Kumi Mineta
A chance meeting with Chick Corea when she was 17 when he was visiting Japan led to an impromtu performance at Chick Corea's planned concert the next day when she was invited up onto the stage. As Hiromi Uehara explains on the "Duet" album liner notes: "10 years passed and in the 2006 Tokyo Jazz Festival, I played with Chick again. After the concert, he suggested that we record a live CD together, I was speechless for a minute……. A year later we did three nights of musical treasure-hunting at the Blue Note Tokyo. I was inspired, I enjoyed it, and learned something every second."
The double CD "Duet", played on just two facing acoustic pianos, records two hours of that inspired music making. In the 'treasure-hunt' they uncover Thelonious Monk’s "Bolivar Blues", Lennon and McCartney's “Fool On The Hill", Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive", Bill Evans' "Very Early" and Joaquin Vidre Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez". There are three of Chick Corea's own well-known compositions – "Humpty Dumpty", "Windows" and "Do Mo (Children's Song No 12)". Hiromi Uehara contributes her compositions "Déjà Vu" and "Place To Be".
There is real synergy and interchange between these two gifted artists. The thought that at times they play too many notes between them is tempered by the sheer exhuberance of the two musical intellects embracing each other so warmly.
This comes to the fore in the stand out track, a wonderful reading of George Gershwin's "Summertime" in which the interplay is truly exceptional.
"Duet" was big in Japan when it was released there in 2007 and deserves equal acclaim here in 2009.
There is a 7 minute video clip of the performance of "Summertime" taken from the live session here
You can preview the track "How Insensitive" here
And you can preview the track "Fool On The Hill" here
To preview and purchase "Duet" on CD at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Duet" on MP3 at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Duet" at iTunes:
Chick Corea home page
Hiromi Uehara home page
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