The multi-talented saxophonist, singer and overall gifted Mindi Abair intertwines elements of jazz, pop and the richness of funk in her latest CD, In Hi-Fi Stereo.
Review by Danielle Boise
In Hi-Fi Stereo, released in 2010, falls in the very aptly named chill-out music category. The cross of smooth jazz and strop reverberates with a headiness of the past, giving it a retro feel, but also there is a sense of freshness in the way the sound ripples through all the tracks.
In Hi-Fi Stereo offers a little bit of everything for any jazz lover, with both instrumental and vocal jazz tracks included. I have to admit that I have always preferred vocal jazz to instrumental tracks, but Abair definitely makes me take a significant step closer to the edge of instrumental jazz. As Abair’s saxophone sings, listeners can hear the passionate words coming out the wind instrument with stunning intensity.
The first track, “Any Way You Wanna,” strongly starts the CD with its fun and not too serious way about it, with a catchy beat. “All Star” makes me think of a song that you would find in either a “Pink Panther” or “James Bond” movie circa 1965.
“L-Espirit Nouveau has this French Quarter feel to it. “Get Right,” which features Ryan Collins, has a soulful R&B hook and, really, who wouldn’t want someone crooning in their ears: “I need some of your love tonight. I need some of your love, so kiss my lips and hold me tight. Let’s get it right.”
“Be Beautiful” for me has a church-esque quality to it, I can see a congregation get up in the pews and sing the chorus to, the song is very soulful and moving as Abair lets loose on the saxophone. “Down for the Count” is another song with a movie soundtrack feel to it, nicely produced, with a little throwback feel very reminiscent of the ’60s for me.
“Girls Night Out” is probably the only track that I didn’t love on the entire CD; it’s good, but that’s it. I just wanted more from it. “Let The Whole World Know” is uplifting and just screams sunshine.
Abair’s rendition of “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” featuring Lalah Hathaway gave me chills as I listened to it the first time, it’s incredibly haunting. “Take Me Home” is just that it’s a fun and funky accompaniment to the rest of the tracks. “The Alley” has a very rich, full body sound to it with gorgeous texture layered in.
Abair leaves listeners wanting more, taking them through a cornucopia of emotions from happy to melancholy and everything between. Abair is currently out on tour, performing in Aerosmith’s band. For more information on Mindi Abair, visit www.mindiabair.com.