The Telarc label has been in business now for more than 30 years, and has diversified almost schizophrenically over that time. Originally intended to be a sort of US Deutsche Grammophon, purveying audiophile standard recordings of classical music, Telarc ventured first tentatively into jazz with artists such as Jacques Loussier and his adaptations of classical works, then into blues and all kinds of roots music. Among its latest releases are Flood from blues duo Moreland and Arbuckle and a new solo piano collection from Hiromi Uehara. Uehara has kept busy since appearing at the 2008 Hong Kong Arts Festival. There, she played with her band Sonicbloom, featuring the edgy guitar work of David 'Fuze' Fiuczynski, and the music reflected her mentor Chick Corea's Return To Forever period jazz-rock. This album finds her performing mostly self-penned compositions recorded just ahead of her 30th birthday. 'I wanted to record the sound of my 20s for archival purposes,' she says. 'I felt like the people I met on the road during my 20s really helped me to develop and mature as a musician and a person. So in addition to making a record that represented all of these places, I also wanted it to be a thank-you to those people. I feel very fortunate to have spent this part of my life travelling to all these places and making people happy.' The titles certainly reflect the extent of her travels - Viva Vegas, Sicilian Blue, Islands Azores, Berne Baby Berne and Cape Cod Chips - as well as a penchant for bad puns, but there is nothing corny about her piano playing. Uehara employs 'prepared piano' techniques to modify the sound of her Yamaha Grand, and plucks and hits the strings with her fingers as well as using the keys in the conventional manner. The playing is virtuosic, fast and furious, and soft and contemplative by turns, resulting in a set which expresses many moods as well as hopping from location to location. Aaron Moreland and Dustin Arbuckle by contrast don't venture far from the route from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago on Flood, an album of largely self-penned material which also includes Little Walter's Hate to See You Go and the traditional Legend of John Henry. Arbuckle plays very much in Little Walter's style while Moreland plays a variety of guitars including a homemade instrument with a cigar box for a body which lets him play lead/slide guitar parts along with a rudimentary electric bass line, executed on a single bass guitar string routed to a bass amp. Even without additional bass or drums their sound is thick, but they have accepted help from guest musicians, and the result is a rocking collection which will appeal to people with a taste for pre-war country blues and who enjoy the similarly idiosyncratic approach to beaten-up musical instruments of Seasick Steve or even the White Stripes.