All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

306

Mindi Abair: In Hi-Fi Stereo

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Sometimes, trends are a good thing. A number of recording artists have dipped back into old-school sounds—not necessarily remaking hits, but making new music using older styles. Saxophonist Mindi Abair follows suit with In Hi-Fi Stereo, a set of mostly original music.

Abair was surrounded by musicians as a child, with a grandmother singing opera and a father playing saxophone and Hammond B-3 organ. At the age of 5, she took up the piano. She later studied woodwinds, eventually adopting the alto sax. Her early career was marked with touring gigs with keyboardists John Tesh and Bobby Lyle, and guitarist Jonathan Butler. For In Hi-Fi Stereo, Abair is accompanied by a variable lineup of session players. The core unit consists of keyboardists Stephen "Stevo" Theard and Rex Rideout, drummer James E. Gadson, guitarist Randy Jacobs and bassist Reggie McBride.

Abair comes out of the gate with a sassy groove on "Any Way You Wanna." McBride lays down a cool bass line, accented by Jacobs' electric guitar. Abair's middle solo takes on a vocal quality that might be mistaken for David Sanborn.

"All Star" slows things down just a tad—but only a tad. Lee Thornberg and Dave Woodard double on trumpet and flugelhorn, and tenor and baritone saxophones, respectively, giving the effect of a full horn section. Underneath are Rideout on piano and Cassandra O'Neal on B-3. Abair and the horns play well off each other.

Vocalist Ryan Collins leads on the bouncy "Get Right." No credit is given for keyboard, but its jaunty rhythm is part of what makes the song work. McBride, Jacobs and Gadson are solid in the background. Collins' voice is an excellent contrast to Abair's sax.

More so than most of the other tracks, "Down for the Count" has a feel for late 1960s or early '70s soul. It's almost possible to hear B.T. Express' "Do It 'Til You're Satisfied" playing alongside. Jamey Tate takes over the drum seat, with Jay Gore on electric guitar and Rodney Lee performing the Wurlitzer solo.

The most adventurous selection is the cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's World," with Lalah Hathaway as lead vocalist. Rideout handles the Rhodes, and O'Neal the B-3. Thornberg assists Abair with the horn section fills. It can easily be argued that this is Abair's best effort on the recording, despite serious challenges from other tracks.

In Hi-Fi Stereo is a nod to high-fidelity, a production standard that minimized noise and distortion, as well as the music recorded at a time when the term "hi-fi" was a major selling point for the recordings and the playback devices—even if though some devices did not meet the technical specifications. To that period, Abair credits among her inspirations for this work Al Green, Alan Toussaint, Junior Walker, King Curtis, and Archie Bell and the Drells.

Track Listing: Any Way You Wanna; All Star; L'Esprit Nouveau; Get Right; Be Beautiful; Down for the Count; Girls' Night Out; Let the Whole World Know (Sing Your Song); It's a Man's Man's World; Take Me Home; The Alley.

Personnel: Mindi Abair: alto saxophone, horn arrangement (1, 2, 4, 6-9), vocals (3, 5, 8); James E. Gadson: drums (1-4, 7-10); Reggie McBride: bass (1, 2, 4, 6-11), upright bass (3); Randy Jacobs: electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 7-10), acoustic guitar (3, 4, 8); Stephen "Stevo" Theard: keyboards (1, 6), arrangement (1, 6, 10), programming (6); Rex Rideout: Wurlitzer (1, 5, 11), keyboards (1, 7), piano (2, 3, 10), programming (6, 8), Rhodes (8, 9); Cassandra O'Neal: Hammond B-3 (2, 3, 8, 9); Lee Thornberg: trumpet and trombone (2, 8, 9); Dave Woodford: tenor and baritone saxophones (2, 8); Bud Harner: ride cymbal (3); Ryan Collins: lead and background vocals (4); David Ryan Harris: guitar and vocals (5); Michael White: drums (5); Smitty Smith: bass (5); Dewayne Swan: Hammond B-3 (5); Jamey Tate: drums (6); Jay Gore: electric guitar (6, 11); Rodney Lee: Wurlitzer solo (6), Hammond B-3 solo (11); Jessi Collins: background vocals (8); Lalah Hathaway: lead and background vocals (9), vocal arrangement (9); Phil Parlapiano: Rhodes, Arp keyboard and organ (10); Lance Abair: Hammond B-3 (11).

Title: In Hi-Fi Stereo | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Heads Up International

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves CD/LP/Track Review
Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 15, 2018
Read A Journey CD/LP/Track Review
A Journey
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Blue Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Dream
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "Magic Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "The View from Here" CD/LP/Track Review The View from Here
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Works for Two Chapels" CD/LP/Track Review Works for Two Chapels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Unnatural  Events" CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Bad Hombre" CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017