Do you switch off, legitimate enough question, when an artist you like a lot goes from jazz to wrap their sound in say a ''classical'' coating? Silver Lining Suite is not Hiromi's best album because the integration of the strings and the bravura style of playing doesn't quite lock step. It's no disaster and eminently listenable to but seems more like an album full of exhibition pieces. You know that overwhelming feeling when you step into a classical hall and the technique is like a tsunami but that's it, you are stubbornly unmoved and yet of course certainly admiring. To be scrupulously fair to the strings on the record their elegant swoon on '11.49pm' is wonderful. Hiromi who opened the Tokyo Olympics participating in the first day ceremony displays dazzling virtuosity and lightness of touch on the tango-inspired 'Ribera del Duero,' named apparently for the pianist-composer-bandleader's favourite type of wine. Hiromi's rapport with violinist Tatsuo Nishie, spectacular on the piece, is strikingly easy to discern. 'Isolation' swings the most. If you need to have everything that Hiromi releases of course you must get this but careful what you wish for, dear superfan.
Otherwise if still tepid in the adoration curve so far begin with 2012's Move and check the remarkable version of yes once again '11.49pm' on it. And now you know just why Hiromi's artistry needs to be in every jazz-lover's life sooner or later. Sorry but she is just better with a trio of the magnitude of her peerless work with Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips. Stephen Graham