“Hiromi – Beyond Standard”
Anyone who is familiar with Hiromi’s music is already well aware of her technically masterful playing, melodic soloing and stellar Berklee band. The big difference with this release is the material…. Comprised primarily of standards, one might expect a slightly more ethereal and swinging contrast to her earlier releases. Not necessarily the case.
This is not your traditional approach at all. While the tunes are respected (and played beautifully!), this is definitely a more modern and groove oriented collection.
Tony Grey’s playing here is just astounding. His bass playing is creative and harmonically captivating while his solos are as articulate, melodic and tasteful as they are technically impressive. I haven’t heard a release with Tony since his “Moving” debut CD and, while I loved his playing, he has really raised his own bar (I can’t wait to check out his new release, “Chasing Shadows”!).
David Fiuczynski also appears here and lends some magical melodic interpretations and solos to some already very interesting takes on these classics.
I generally shy away from the “here’s an album of standards” releases by artists (especially younger artists) but I will honestly be listening to this album for quite some time. It’s absolutely wonderful. Heck… I might even whip out the old Fake Book and give “Softly..” an inspired whirl 😉