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Mindi Abair

Any artist who takes his or her craft seriously will inevitably reach a point on the journey when history can no longer be overlooked. The direct line between the music of now and the music of then becomes too important to ignore, and the riches of generations past are suddenly rediscovered—and eventually reinterpreted for a new era.

Saxophonist Mindi Abair has reached that critical juncture. After more than a decade of performing, songwriting and recording, she has taken a step back from the more polished sensibilities of contemporary jazz and embraced the sounds of past decades—specifically the ‘60s and early ‘70s, a period widely regarded as the golden age of R&B, soul and funk. The result is In Hi-Fi Stereo, her new album set for release on May 18, 2010, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. The album captures the raw and edgy aesthetic of that golden age, when a slab of vinyl could instantaneously put band and listener together in the same room and establish a visceral and enduring connection. Loaded with infectious grooves generated by a high-caliber crew of players, In Hi-Fi Stereo rekindles that spark for a new generation of ears.

"This album is a reflection of some of the older, more funky stuff I've been listening to in the last couple years," says Abair, firing off a list of favorites that include Al Green, Alain Toussaint, Junior Walker, King Curtis, Archie Bell and the Drells, and many others. "I think it all kind of seeped into me over time. I wanted to move away from a more produced sound and just get into the studio and play. It didn't have to be perfect. It didn't have to be shiny and new. It's not an intellectual record. It's a fun, feel-good record inspired by some of those great sounds and grooves from that period, but recast for a modern audience."

Co-produced by Abair and R&B mainstay Rex Rideout (who also lays down keyboards on nearly every track), In Hi-Fi Stereo includes a roster of players representing the old school as well as the new. In addition to Abair's touring band, the album is seasoned with a number of guest players: veteran drummer Steve Gadson (a frequent session player for Bill Withers), bassist Reggie McBride and vocalists Lalah Hathaway, Ryan Collins and David Ryan Harris.

Hanging with talented musicians is nothing new for Abair. Her paternal grandmother was an opera singer, and her father was a saxophonist and B3 player in a blue-eyed soul outfit called The Entertainers—a gig that kept the whole family on the road for several years throughout the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. By the time the band broke up and the Abairs put down roots in St. Petersburg, Florida, five-year-old Mindi had already demonstrated musical aspirations of her own by taking up the piano.

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Live Review

Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre

Read "Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre" reviewed by Walter Atkins

Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers The Empress Theatre The EastWest Sessions CD Release Party Vallejo, CA November 10, 2017 Two time Grammy nominated saxophonist Mindi Abair, primarily known as a successful smooth/contemporary jazz musician and vocalist has moved into a new funk and rock oriented direction. Tonight's date at downtown Vallejo's Empress Theatre, featured tracks from her new CD The EastWest Sessions (Pretty Good For A Girl Records, 2017). Along her musical and personal ...

Book Excerpts

The Soul of Jazz: Stories and Inspiration from Those Who Followed the Song in Their Souls

Read "The Soul of Jazz: Stories and Inspiration from Those Who Followed the Song in Their Souls" reviewed by Trish Richardson

The Soul of Jazz: Stories and Inspiration from Those Who Followed the Song in Their Souls by Trish Richardson (Grayson James Press, 2011) includes interviews with nineteen world renowned jazz artists. The following is an excerpt from saxophonist Mindi Abair's chapter: What have you learned about your character as a result of being in this business? My dad was a musician, but he would never teach me music. My dad played sax and keyboards and bass--he ...


Mindi Abair: Game Changer

Read "Mindi Abair: Game Changer" reviewed by Trish Richardson

You know a dream is like a river, Ever changing as it flows. And a dreamer's just a vessel, That must follow where it goes. --"The River," vocals by Garth Brooks, lyrics by Victoria Lynn Shaw You know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night with a vivid dream? And you know that if you don't have a pencil and pad by the bed, ...

Album Review

Mindi Abair: Wild Heart

Read "Wild Heart" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

Courtney Love courted controversy in a Rolling Stone interview when she shrugged off Clarence Clemons, the late and great “Big Man" saxophonist of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, “My Springsteen problem is just that saxophones don't belong in rock & roll," she said. “They just don't belong." Mindi Abair would like a word with you Miss Love. The fusion of jazz and rock was not the most beloved of hybrids. As practiced by bands like Chicago and ...


Mindi Abair: Defining the ‘It’ Factor

Read "Mindi Abair: Defining the ‘It’ Factor" reviewed by Trish Richardson

It. What is It? How does one know if one has It? And more importantly, where does one get It? It. Such a small, unassuming word, barely taking up any space on the page. But just what is It? It. It is that almost indefinable, though easily recognizable “X" factor. It's quite obvious when someone has It--and when someone doesn't. It can be the difference between having a career in show business and not having one. ...

Album Review

Mindi Abair: In Hi-Fi Stereo

Read "In Hi-Fi Stereo" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

As soul music has vanished from urban radio, driven out by the predominance of rap, hip-hop and Auto Tune, it's become harder to find real soul made with real instruments, either on record or on the airwaves.

A Mindi Abair album is not the go-to place that comes to mind for a showcase of old school soul and bluesy funk. Abair has carved out a niche as a capable, if not always inspired, smooth jazz saxophonist, cut from the cloth ...

Album Review

Mindi Abair: In Hi-Fi Stereo

Read "In Hi-Fi Stereo" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

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, ...

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Performance / Tour

Mindi Abair at Chico's House of Jazz - August 27, 2010 - Asbury Park, NJ

Mindi Abair at Chico's House of Jazz - August 27, 2010 - Asbury Park, NJ

Source: Rouse Public Relations

Chico's House of Jazz presents a night with Mindi Abair on August 27th, 2010 August 27TH, 2010 (ASBURY PARK, NJ)—Chico's House of Jazz is pleased to host Mindi Abair in our Smooth Stars Concert Series. There will be two shows on August 27th at 8:00 pm and 10pm. Tickets are available now by logging on to ChicosHouseofJazz.com or at our box office at the club. Tickets are $25 and going fast. Saxophonist Mindi Abair has reached that critical juncture. After ...


Music Industry

Bass Player Derek Frank Joins Mindi Abair's Band, Spring and Summer Tour Dates Announced

Bass Player Derek Frank Joins Mindi Abair's Band,  Spring and Summer Tour Dates Announced

Source: Michael Ricci

Los Angeles bass player, Derek Frank, has recently been offered a position in Concord Records recording artist Mindi Abair's band. Frank will tour with Mindi around the USA this spring and summer in support of her new album on Concord Jazz entitled “In Hi-Fi Stereo". He began rehearsals with Mindi on April 12th, the very same day that he returned from a tour of Australia and New Zealand with Hammond B-3 Organ legend Brian Auger. After 3 rehearsals, Frank recorded ...



Mindi Abair Stars CD in Stores Now!

Mindi Abair Stars CD in Stores Now!

Source: Special Ops Media

MINDI ABAIR, saxophonist/vocalist/composer is set to release her first Peak Records (a division of Concord Music Group CD titled STARS on May 6, bursting on to the pop scene as one of an exciting new generation of crossover artists. For the CD, Abair wrote 11 new songs, with five songs showcasing her vocals. Her instrumental single, Smile, is currently on R&R at #13 and is rising; and her vocal song Stars, will be serviced to AC radio on April 28. ...


Performance / Tour

A Peter White Christmas with Rick Braun & Mindi Abair at the Keswick Theatre on December 5, 2007

A Peter White Christmas with Rick Braun & Mindi Abair at the Keswick Theatre on December 5, 2007

Source: All About Jazz

Three of the world's top smooth jazz artists deck the Keswick halls for a special holiday concert, A PETER WHITE CHRISTMAS featuring the ace guitarist along with trumpeter RICK BRAUN and saxophonist MINDI ABAIR at Glenside's Keswick Theatre on Wed., Dec. 5 @ 8 PM.

Welcomed by Smooth Jazz 97.5 WJJZ, attendees are respectfully requested to bring gently-used, cleaned coats for all ages to benefit Salvation Army thrift stores. The gift of a new coat for a child under age ...

Luis Alas




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Wild Heart

Heads Up International


In Hi-Fi Stereo

Heads Up International






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