Music Reviews

Hiromi Sonicwonder


12 of the best tracks from 2023


Formats available: Download, CD, Vinyl

Hiromi Uehara, is mostly known by her first name, she is the happy child that toys endlessly with styles and fuses JS Bach with funk, jazz and pop rhythms to popular effect. The Japanese pianist’s sound signature is evident in both her concerts and albums. This album may surprise some, this is more of a band album (Sonicwonder), Hiromi has taken to the very back of the stage and allowed her band, Hadrien Feraud (bass), Gene Coye (drums) and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), to dominate the album.

Sonicwonderland has in it something for everyone: it is funk, it is bebop, it is mainstream it is blues jazz and it is playful and rhythmic album from start to end. The tunes are mostly led by the trumpet of Adam O’Farrill, but all of the musicians are given ample opportunities to step to the fore and strut their impressive musical abilities.

The unique ivory tinkling of Hiromi is at its best on Go Go and Up, she is creates a run of threads inspired by Hancock, Corea, and Jamal with hints that serve to highlight and remind one why she is one of today’s most famous jazz keyboard players.

Although the trumpet leads for most of the album O’Farrill’s tones are smooth and measured and his sound is reminiscent of a flugelhorn. The Telarc recording is very good. Gene Coye and Hadrien Feraud’s efforts are given equal space in the deep sound stage, with deep tight bass from electric bass and the kickdrum.

Sonicwonderland is an all-around reminder of Hiromi’s constant search of for inspiration and collaboration. One that in the past included a collaboration with the late Chick Corea on Duet from 2008. Sonicwonderland is playful if in places slightly kooky but all together a delicious musical album to dig in to.

Reuben Klein

Fans may wish to rush and secure tickets for her appearance with this band in the current European tour.

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