Hiromi – Hiromi’s Sonicbloom – Beyond Standard (2008/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 59:30 minutes | 3,05 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Hiromi
Hiromi’s supergroup, Sonicbloom, crafts a melting pot of jazz, classical, fusion, standards and even a traditional Japanese tune.
Hiromi’s supergroup, Sonicbloom, has shattered the formula of making records written solely by the celebrated pianist / composer. Their latest outing, Beyond Standard finds Tony Grey (bass), Martin Valihora (drums), and Dave “Fuze” Fiuczynski (guitar and otherworldly sounds) assisting Hiromi in crafting unique versions of familiar tunes such as Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” and even Jeff Beck’s “Led Boots.”
The group has been recognized for its energetic virtuosity by music industry and mainstream publications alike: Downbeat, JazzTimes, Keyboard, and The New York Times. Playing festivals such as Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, and Playboy Jazz proves that Hiromi’s unique fusion nuevo has been accepted in the world of jazz as well as rock. Beyond Standard is a showcase for Hiromi and her band’s abilities, with each player getting plenty of room to shine.
While most of the music on the album was penned by songwriters other than Hiromi, the album as a whole is a continuation of her previous release, Time Control (2007). Beyond Standard starts with a quick “Intro” that includes the popping and scratching sounds of a vinyl record, a signal that what you are about to hear are retro compositions performed in an updated and unique way. The music starts with an extension of her original tune, “Time’s Up,” the final track on Time Control. Hiromi then gives a dramatic voicing to the theme of “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.” As the tune progresses, she and Fiuczynski trade some very playful fours, and Valihora takes a fresh approach, occasionally giving a backbeat to the jazz standard.
In keeping with her defiance of easy categorization, Hiromi then covers Debussy’s eternally beloved “Claire de Lune,” followed by the driving jazz standard, “Caravan,” written by Juan Tizol and made famous by Duke Ellington. Hiromi’s rendition has an almost Zappa-esque feel with a heart-pumping drum solo.
Hiromi and company deliver a unique rendition of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” a song from The Sound of Music that later became standard jazz repertoire thanks to John Coltrane. In a complete 180, the band follows Rodgers & Hammerstein with a cover of legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck’s “Led Boots,” featuring keyboard work from Hirmoi that sounds very much like the whah-whah effect on an electric guitar.
“Ue Wo Muite Aruko” (“I Look Up When I Walk”) was the only Japanese pop song to make it to No. 1 on the American pop charts. The song was released in Japan in 1961 and in the United States in 1963. Hiromi takes the still popular song and turns it into a funky explosion.
1. Hiromi – Intro: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
2. Hiromi – Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
3. Hiromi – Clair De Lune
4. Hiromi – Caravan
5. Hiromi – Ue Wo Muite Aruko
6. Hiromi – My Favorite Things
7. Hiromi – Led Boots
8. Hiromi – XYG
9. Hiromi – I’ve Got Rhythm