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Tia Fuller: Healing Space

Jim Santella By

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This program of original music by saxophonist Tia Fuller recalls the memorable 1960s Blue Note years when jazz had soul as well as a melody that you could remember the next day. Each piece relates to her album's theme, the healing power of music. She brings many different moods during the session, which all have something in common: each selection cries out with the soul-baring emotion.

Fuller comes from a musical family. Her mother and father, both professional musicians, organized a family band that brought their children along well. That experience gave her the freedom that she needed to turn loose her creative ideas.

Fuller has a Master's degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado. By balancing her career with a solid education and plenty of experience, Fuller found that she enjoys writing new material—which gives this session personality. Her older sister and brother-in-law, both professional musicians, contribute several selections to Healing Space, keeping the program's spirit gentle and sober. Her first album, Pillar of Strength, included most of the same artists who support her here, as well as her brother Ashton on drums. Since leaving her home in Aurora, Colorado and moving to New York to "pay her dues, Fuller hasn't lost sight of the influence that her family has had on her music.

Blue Room in Mama's Womb, a personal favorite, comes complete with the kind of emotional fire that grabs hold of you and won't let go. Fuller's mellow, chill title track, "Healing Space, on the other hand, sings praises of pop and R&B. She plays flute on several selections and soprano saxophone on several others, though her alto takes center stage for most of the album. Trumpeter Sean Jones, who joins her for four selections, gives the session a considerable lift. Their interpretation of "Breakthrough indeed signals a breakthrough for this young alto saxophonist, who possesses a natural feel for musical communication and sets her ideas free on this recommended performance.

Track Listing: Breakthrough; Just a Journey; Ebonics; Katrina

Personnel: Tia Fuller: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Miki Hayama: piano, keyboards; Miriam Sullivan: bass; Kim Thompson: drums; Kahlil Kwame Bell: percussion; Sean Jones: trumpet; Ron Blake: tenor saxophone; Charenee Wade, Iyana Wakefield: vocals.

Title: Healing Space | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

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