The BBC Promenade Concerts are always good value and have become more varied in scope during recent years. There is now a regular evening of big band jazz but this year's offering was rather lacklustre as Wiggia pointed out in his post the other day. The whole evening was rescued with the appearance of Hiromi who gave a very hyperactive and barnstorming performance. Absolutely magnificent!
She has the spirit and the exuberance of Dorothy Donegan who featured here in January of this year-
But Hiromi is not just a brilliant jazz pianist, she plays classical music equally well having started at the age of five: from her Wiki profile:
"Hiromi started learning classical piano at age five, and was later introduced to jazz by her piano teacher Noriko Hikida. At 14, she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. When she was 17, she met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day. After being a jingle writer for a few years for Japanese companies such as Nissan, she enrolled to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There, she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and had already signed with jazz label Telarc before her graduation."
Her natural talent is self-evident in the videos below but especially so in the first one, an inspired version of the famous Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. Beginning with a metallic damping of the strings to make the piano sound rather like a harpsichord, she then weaves in and around the melody but at no point does she lose the tempo or deviate from the chord structure of the piece. This is pure genius!