How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Virtuoso bassist and superlative bandleader Mimi Jones' (AKA Miriam Sullivan) Balance is a delightful album filled with 79 minutes of engaging music. Despite the title, however, it is an unevenly structured work.
The edgy, dramatic "The Incy Wincy Spider" for instance completely deconstructs the children's rhyme into an intriguing, darkly hued and haunting piece. Jones' evocative vocals evolve over percussionist Shirazette Tinnin
's twittering tone rises and falls over Tinnin's stormy percussion ushering in her R and B-ish vocal refrains that glide over smooth instrumental lines. Similarly the elegiac closer "Dream" (dedicated to the memory of recently departed pianist Shimrit Shoshan
's incandescent steel strings and Jones' agile and thrillingly deft intermixing of yearning con-arco, reverberating pizzicato and breathy vocals that save the song from banality.
There is no doubt that Jones is a master of her instrument. She is also a superb vocalist, accomplished composer and arranger and a very versatile artist. Balance, however, contains within itself the raw motifs for a number of different records, each one with a unique flavor. Nevertheless, despite its stylistic incongruities it remains a very enjoyable and rewarding disc.
Track Listing: Nothing Like You; Traveler; Speedbump; The Incy Wincy Spider; The
Spinning Tree; Patriot; Someone Like You; To Be; The Edge of a Circle;
Everyone Loves Sunshine; Junk Funk; Dream.