Thursday Jazz: Chick & Hiromi
Words By J-man
My personal discovery of the existence of an album documenting the collaboration between piano giants Chick Corea and Hiromi Uehara has blown my mind. The album Duet sheds light on the music relationship between two of jazz's greats.
Chick has established himself through years of performing with the genres best. His virtuoso level of musicianship has been the base of countless projects, pushing the bar higher at an exponential rate. Chick has performed with Miles Davis, Return to Forever and countless collaborative projects since. His awards and honors are too great to mention.
Hiromi is a relative newcomer to the scene. Her chance run in with Chick in Tokyo, provided her with the opportunity to perform with him at his concert the following evening. Hiromi enrolled at the Berklee College of Music where she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal. She had already signed with jazz label Telarc prior to her graduation. In 2010 she toured with bass great Stanley Clarke.
From the opening bars of the album the music take on a classical swing sound. It's near impossible to distinguish where Chick starts and Hiromi finishes. The climbing notation draws the listener in for a ride that won't be easy on the mind.
On the surface the music is deceptively sweet and soothing, but at it's core it's memorizing and captivating. Chick and Hiromi's musical exchanges are nothing short of breathtaking and reflect years of classical training.
Duet takes the listener on an emotional ride though sweet as well as scary melodies. Even scarier than the feel and sound of the music is the complexity and structure of the music itself. The grand piano offers the perfect outlet to capture the full and massive sound of these two giants.
Tracks like "Fool on a Hill" break up the somber mood laid out by previous tracks like "How Insensitive" with major keys and an upbeat tempo. The music falls right back into it's original mind-bending style with "Humpty Dumpty".
The album closes out with almost idiosyncratic "Bolivar Blues", reminding us that Duet is not for the faint of heart or fearful individuals. Duet pushes the jazz piano bar impossibly higher, setting the stage for a musical relationship that seems out of this world.
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