Pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara, whose passionate and incendiary keyboard work has been a shining light on the jazz landscape since her 2003 debut, believes that the voice that never speaks can sometimes be the most powerful of all. Her newest release, simply titled Voice, expresses a range of human emotions without the aid of a single lyric.
Although a mesmerizing instrumentalist in her own right, Hiromi enlists the aid of two equally formidable players for this project - bassist Anthony Jackson (Paul Simon, the O'Jays, Steely Dan, Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (the Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour, Jack Bruce). Taken as a whole, the individual tracks on Voice do tell a story, says Hiromi, but she's quick to note that the story is open-ended and subject to interpretations. 'I'm not talking about a story in the sense of a novel,' she says. 'People can just listen to it and decide how it reflects their own lives. They can just imagine whatever the music makes them imagine. That's the beautiful thing about music without words. It's just a matter of using your imagination, finding your own voice within the music, and traveling with it wherever it takes you.'