Hiromi: Beyond Standard

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Telarc
ALBUM TITLE: Hiromi’s Sonicbloom
WORKS: Beyond Standard
PERFORMER: Hiromi (piano), Dave ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski (guitar & electronics), Tony Grey (bass), Martin Valihora (drums)


There is no shortage of impressive young-youngish pianists around these days, but they are all so worthy. Not so Hiromi, who always seems to be having fun, and whose delight in the music, the instrument and the group interplay is obvious and infectious. She gives good visual value in concert, often standing up to lean on the keys because, she explains, she is so physically slight that she needs the extra leverage. Alongside the careful, compositional stance of most of her contemporaries, her exuberant, empirical approach is like a refreshing dash of cool spring water. Here she and her multinational working group canter through a programme of classic tunes plus some lively originals. If Fiuczynski veers too close to fusion for some tastes, there is plenty of pure jazz, not least in the entertaining Erroll Garner pastiche and the witty, virtuosic solo-piano ‘I Got Rhythm’ which bracket the album. Barry Witherden