Fiery Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara has been little less than a phenomenon since graduating from Berklee seven years ago. Armed with dazzling technique, compositional prowess, an adventurous spirit, and overflowing exuberance in virtually every note she plays, Hiromi has carved her own niche in the jazz world by adeptly weaving the tendrils of jazz history with classical, errant pop, and jazz-rock fusion, just for starters. Of late, she has often roamed the sonic frontiers with her equally eclectic electric band, Sonicbloom. But she has opted for the solo piano route for her latest album, Place to Be, and current tour. Recorded just before her 30th birthday and conceived as a travel journal, PTB reflects not only her worldwide jaunts but also her musical perambulations, as references to ragtime, stride, boogie-woogie, Gershwin, McCoy Tyner, Monk, even Deep Purple, and dozens more whip by. Hiromi can be wonderfully lyrical, as she is on the title track, but it's not in her nature to remain placid for long. She's really at home tooling along at top speed amid the frenzy of, for example, "BQE"—formally known as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway—elegantly dodging pot holes, stray refrigerators, and other drivers while stylishly pushing the pedal to the metal. Or maybe emulating a French dessert, as she does in "Choux À La Crème"—sweet and creamy on the inside, delightfully crisp around the edges.
Mondays, Tuesdays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: March 8. Continues through March 9, 2010