Dana Reason can play. This jazz album’s opening track “Transition” seems to delight in teetering on the edge of rhythmic and melodic chaos; the classically-trained pianist and composer attacks the piano with playful bite and vigor, never fearing to employ tasty dissonance or explosive runs when they serve her improvisations. “Let’s Talk,” which indeed feels like a heated conversation between Dana and her talented cohorts (Dominic Duval on bass and John Howard on drums), continues the raw energy, while tracks like “Open Spaces” let her stretch out with a more delicate, angular style. With chops and creativity that bring to mind Jacky Terrasson, John Medeski, Vijay Iyer, and Satoko Fujii, Dana is a formidable talent.
Hiromi The Solo Piano Sorcery of Place To Be
From its very first moments — a machine-gun volley of perfectly-timed notes, frenetically joyous and angular — you can tell that Hiromi’s Place To Be is anything but another sleepy, contemplative solo piano album. In fact, filling the space left by her excellent regular bandmates, the young jazz fusion keyboardists’ musical energy manifests even more vibrantly, resulting in one of the most explosively creative solo piano albums Keyboard Central has ever heard.