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Brain [SACD] Hybrid SACD - DSD

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, May 25, 2004
$13.16 $19.92

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 25, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00022FWOK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,525 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
She's got prodigious piano technique, brains and beauty (as six full-page photos included with the CD make abundantly clear), incredible energy, and lots of "mo" (is there any young instrumentalist who is bigger at the present moment?). All of which may raise some suspicions among closer followers of the jazz scene, past and present.
Admittedly, I was impressed but not captivated after a first listen. The tracks with synthesizer, the all-original program of "descriptive," "programmatic" titles, the packaging--it smacked of commercialism and new-age aesthetics. But I recall having a similar reaction to Ahmad Jamal the first time I heard him. He didn't employ harmonies like Art Tatum, swing like Oscar, fill up the space with complex melodic lines like Bud Powell. But over time it became clear that Ahmad was the master colorist of them all, a painter of musical tone poems that could be infinitely suggestive if not mesmerizing. Hiromi, who was "discovered" and first produced by Ahmad, has the same affinities.
Listen to "Desert on the Moon." It 's a bubbling piece, more suggestive of a mountain stream in its progress through a variety of moods, tempos, textures, and dynamic contrasts. Every moment is alive and purposeful, as Hiromi takes us on a journey from rippling, impressionist passages to sharply-defined pointillism (she has some musical karate chops!) to unabashed romantic lyricism (an unapologetic allusion to "My One and Only Love"), finally bringing the force of the whole to an explosive, climactic conclusion, then just as seamlessly providing a tranquil, restorative coda.
Her piano technique extends beyond mere virtuosity.
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Format: Audio CD
. . . (and I, for one, never thought there was), Brain settles the issue.
As an artist, Hiromi has grown by leaps and bounds since her remarkable debut, Another Mind. For one thing, this disc has a much less obviously virtuoso feel; it's as if she's realized she has nothing to prove, and just sets about displaying her pianistic and compositional genius in settings that naturally reveal her prodigal talent.
Moreover, there's a kind of cool disdain for jazz orthodoxy--not that she can't play "in the Tradition" when she wants to; she just usually doesn't want to.
Along with groups like The Bad Plus, EST, and The Frank Kimbrough Trio, she stretches the understand of piano jazz into new and unlikely vicinities, injecting some much-needed life into this venerable form: funk ("Kung Fu World Champion," with its plugged-in bass stylings, stunning drumming, and very hip percussive piano stylings), gorgeous neo-pop jazz ("If . . .
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Format: Audio CD
I have to wonder what the guy who wrote "But on musical taste I would file this between Weird Al Yancovich and Alvin and the Chimpunks" was listening to. Couldn't have been this CD. Granted, he is entitled to his opinion and I am no authority on jazz piano but I think he was being just a tad harsh. If she was THAT bad would a world renowned and respected musician such as Chick Corea invite her onstage to do some piano improvisations? Hmmm....maybe Chick's ears aren't what they used to be, or was someone holding a gun to his head?

I hear some really beautiful playing by Hiromi on this disc and the bassist and drummer lend excellent support. Maybe she pisses some people off because she mixes in some electronic keyboards and we all know how that ruffles some jazz purist's feathers. Well, then don't listen to Hiromi, God knows there's enough traditonal jazz out there for you. I think there's plenty of fine acoustic piano on this disc. Listen to it and make your own call. I've heard a helluva lot worse than this!

Me, I'm a fusion fanatic who saw Chick Corea's Return to Forever band 5 times, the Lenny White, Stanley Clarke and Al DiMeola version. I love progressive rock, metal, funk, and basically anything that sounds good to my ears. This sounds good to my ears. I also just caught Hiromi at the Blue Note Jazz Club on April 20 and loved it. Al Yancovich and Alvin and the Chimpunks were nowhere in sight! And last I heard they weren't getting the rave reviews Hiromi is getting. Go figure.

[...]
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