Album info

Album-Release:
2014

HRA-Release:
26.02.2021

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Alive09:04
  • 2Wanderer08:57
  • 3Dreamer08:31
  • 4Seeker07:25
  • 5Player09:12
  • 6Warrior08:54
  • 7Firefly07:28
  • 8Spirit08:13
  • 9Life Goes On06:49
  • Total Runtime01:14:33

Info for Alive



Since the release of Another Mind, Hiromi Uehara's 2003 debut on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group, the Japanese composer/pianist has electrified audiences and critics on both hemispheres with a creative energy that defies the conventional parameters of jazz and pushes musicianship and composition to unprecedented levels of complexity and sophistication.

Hiromi and her Trio Project, with contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, have become one of the finest units in contemporary jazz. Their particular prowess lies in seamlessly performing the pianist's knotty, technically challenging, often unpredictable compositions; they are also a closely united group of improvisers, writes AllMusic.com

Alive, co-produced by Hiromi and Michael Bishop, was cut over three days. The long title track is filled with unexpected twists, turns, and harmonic feints that lead through a labyrinth of classical, post-bop, and fusion-like segments. Phillips' drumming is outstanding, propulsive, and insistent; it underscores Hiromi's piano vamps and solos and foreshadows seismic shifts in the composition. "Wanderer" is classically inspired in its elaborate use of solo and group counterpoint. It transforms quickly toward swinging post-bop halfway through. The elegant melodic line in "Dreamer" is framed by double-timed floor tom and kick drum, even as the tune's shape and dynamic turn sharp corners quickly. Hiromi's solo takes center stage with crystalline ostinati and spirited legato runs. The taut athleticism in the first three tracks gives way to a more playful imagination on "The Seeker." Here, blues, gospel, and bop come together as Jackson's earthy, swaggering groove waxes prosaic.

“Over four years of traveling and two previous recordings, Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara and her Trio Project, with contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, have become one of the finest units in contemporary jazz. Their particular prowess lies in seamlessly performing the pianist’s knotty, technically challenging, often unpredictable compositions; they are also a closely united group of improvisers. Alive, co-produced by Hiromi and Michael Bishop, was cut over three days. The long title track is filled with unexpected twists, turns, and harmonic feints that lead through a labyrinth of classical, post-bop, and fusion-like segments. Phillips’ drumming is outstanding, propulsive, and insistent; it underscores Hiromi’s piano vamps and solos and foreshadows seismic shifts in the composition. “Wanderer” is classically inspired in its elaborate use of solo and group counterpoint. It transforms quickly toward swinging post-bop halfway through.” (Thom Jurek, AMG)

Bill Meredith of JazzTimes stated "If there’s a drawback to all-star groups, it’s that they have little to prove... Alive, recorded live in the studio, boils in comparison to the Trio Project’s standard studio predecessors Voice (2011) and Move (2013)."[5] Jeff Winbush of All About Jazz commented "Matching her inclination for improvisation, drummer Simon Phillips and bassist Anthony Jackson hold down the rhythm responsibilities, freeing up Hiromi to do things with a piano most human beings can't begin to imagine doing. Alive might be the finishing stroke in a trilogy of adventurous albums for the band. Nothing has been said by Hiromi to indicate the group has run its course, but there is a sense of finality and completion to this musical affair. Always a restless musician, it remains an open question as to how long Hiromi will continue this collaboration."

John Fordham of The Guardian noted " This is her ninth album, and the mix is much the same, but so is the infectious enthusiasm with which she stirs it. The title track is a typical blend of anthemic, big-chord drama soon displaced by catchy left-hand hook over a rugged funk pulse from rock drummer Simon Phillips, then a whirling folk-dance and some jazz-ballad lyricism before returning to its starting point."[3] Chris Jisi of Bass Player wrote "The true magic, however, comes via the interplay during Hiromi’s solo, as Jackson and Phillips spontaneously support, suggest, and react. The art of the piano trio is alive and well.

Hiromi Uehara, piano
Anthony Jackson, bass
Simon Phillips, drums

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Booklet for Alive

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