11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mindi Abair often gets lumped into the smooth-jazz genre due to her melodic saxophone playing. But while many smooth folks lean on thin synthesizer tones, skeletal beats, and (at the genre's most clichéd moments) chimes, Abair fronts a band capable of playing pop, rock, R&B, soul, and blues. That's never more apparent than on Wild Heart, her seventh album, which also features such heavy guests as Joe Perry, Gregg Allman, and Trombone Shorty (another jazz musician not afraid to rock out), as well as soul legend Booker T. Jones and bluesman Keb’ Mo. She continues to prove herself a soulful singer on the rocking “I Can’t Lose” and the rootsy “I’ll Be Your Home,” and she sets aside her sax to duet with Allman on “Just Say When,” which they wrote together. Abair actually collaborates throughout this set of new tunes, either working with her guests, outside songwriters, or her regular pianist Dave Yarden, who teams up with her for the standouts “Haute Sauce” and the noirish “Kiddo’s Revenge.” "Soothing" isn't a word that comes to mind here, and that’s just fine for Abair and her many fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mindi Abair often gets lumped into the smooth-jazz genre due to her melodic saxophone playing. But while many smooth folks lean on thin synthesizer tones, skeletal beats, and (at the genre's most clichéd moments) chimes, Abair fronts a band capable of playing pop, rock, R&B, soul, and blues. That's never more apparent than on Wild Heart, her seventh album, which also features such heavy guests as Joe Perry, Gregg Allman, and Trombone Shorty (another jazz musician not afraid to rock out), as well as soul legend Booker T. Jones and bluesman Keb’ Mo. She continues to prove herself a soulful singer on the rocking “I Can’t Lose” and the rootsy “I’ll Be Your Home,” and she sets aside her sax to duet with Allman on “Just Say When,” which they wrote together. Abair actually collaborates throughout this set of new tunes, either working with her guests, outside songwriters, or her regular pianist Dave Yarden, who teams up with her for the standouts “Haute Sauce” and the noirish “Kiddo’s Revenge.” "Soothing" isn't a word that comes to mind here, and that’s just fine for Abair and her many fans.

TITLE TIME
4:22
3:36
4:07
3:18
3:27
5:36
4:17
3:49
4:28
6:47
5:35

About Mindi Abair

Born on tour into a musical family, Mindi Abair was playing piano by the age of five. Within three years, she was playing saxophone and writing songs. She made her way through Berklee performing all kinds of music from jazz to rock and R&B. Upon moving back to Los Angeles, Abair started her own band. She also took on session work with artists as diverse as the Gap Band, Adam Sandler, Mandy Moore, John Tesh, Teena Marie, and the Backstreet Boys. During this time, she worked on creating her own sound and released her debut disc in 1999. The Backstreet Boys connection really paid off for her, and her website and CD (entitled Love) took off. The year 2000 saw the release of the follow-up, Always and Never the Same, and shortly thereafter, Abair signed with GRP Records. A sophomore effort, It Just Happens That Way, was issued in 2003. "Lucy's," "Save the Last Dance," and the album's title track went on to impact Top Ten radio. A year later, Abair returned with Come as You Are, her second set produced with her writing partner Matthew Hager. In 2006, Abair released Life Less Ordinary, which featured guest vocals from Lalah Hathaway and Keb' Mo', and also performed at the Governor's Ball, the official Oscars afterparty. The following year, she appeared on guitarist Peter White's (with whom she had performed frequently) Christmas album, but 2008 saw a return to her solo material (and an introduction to Abair as a singer) with Stars. In 2010, Abair delivered the soul-jazz-inspired In Hi-Fi Stereo, which once again featured a mix of instrumental jazz with a few Abair vocal numbers. Abair returned in 2014 with her seventh studio album, Wild Heart, which featured guest spots from Keb' Mo', Joe Perry, Booker T. Jones, and Gregg Allman. It debuted at number one on the jazz album chart, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

In March of 2015, she recorded a live album, Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers: Live in Seattle. Her backing band is actually an all-star, standalone touring and recording unit that includes former Was (Not Was) members Randy Jacobs on guitar and vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson. The album was released the following September by Concord. ~ Gary Hill

  • ORIGIN
    St. Petersburg, FL
  • BORN
    May 31, 1969

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