Hiromi - Voice
Hiromi Uehara is without a doubt my favorite modern Jazz musician. Her talent as a pianist/keyboardist is overwhelming and obvious. And her style draws lots of influence from Fusion bands, particularly calling to mind Return To Forever (to the degree that she has worked with members of RTF on occasion), but also shows flashes of rock, funk and classical sounds - all revolving around a deliciousy chewy jazz center. Voice
is sort of a "back to the roots" jazz album, with just a trio of bass, drums, and grand piano playing the entire album.
In this album, the piano very much takes the main stage, though the other instruments are appropriately played with varying vigor and minimality. (Weird fact, the drums are played by Simon Phillips, the very same studio drummer from Priest's classic Sin After Sin
.) There is a very calm vibe throughout this album, and I think it really fills you with a warm feeling when you listen to it. Even in the moments when certain instruments get rather frantic (and Hiromi's piano often does), the song as a whole just feels really soothing. This album maintains a brilliant balance of excellent musicianship and beautiful melodies.
Can't find any clips from the album on youtube, so I apologize for not being able to include any.