Posts Tagged ‘ Mindi Abair ’

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers – Live in Seattle

A desire to deviate from contemporary jazz – or pop instrumental, for the technical – and do something edgier, saxophonist Mindi Abair called upon a friend, Randy Jacobs, to join her live band. Jacobs’ band, the Boneshakers, was playing the Newport Beach Jazz Festival on the same bill as Abair’s band. Abair sat in with that group. And with some members of Abair’s band performing with the Boneshakers, the combination became the natural next step. The result, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers’ Live in Seattle (Heads Up, 2015).

The event was captured over Valentine’s Day weekend at Jazz Alley. The set includes a mix of original songs, some culled from Abair’s previous seven recordings, and two covers.

After the introduction, Abair and company perform the title song of her previous release, Wild Heart. It’s a moderately paced track that has a rock/funk edge. After going through the main theme and a middle break that includes some guitar magic, Abair lets loose, cranking up the intensity as she works up to the ending.

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Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers – Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers Live in Seattle

MindiAbair_LiveInSeattleIn a career that spans seven solo albums and countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Mindi Abair has made her mark as one of the most recognizable saxophonists in the US. You may know her as the saxophonist on American Idol, or the only saxophonist to tour with rock legends Aerosmith since 1973. You may have seen her on stage with Bruce Springsteen for a historic night at the Beacon Theater, or tuned in as she joined Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman, or caught her recent appearance at The Grand Ole Opry or as Al Pacino’s sax player in Danny Collins.

Her seven solo CDs have garnered ten #1 radio hits, six top 5 spots and two #1 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. Abair received a 2014 GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Summer Horns, a #1 recording with her friends Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, and more recently received a 2015 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo cd Wild Heart.

After Wild Heart, Abair wanted to translate its edgier rock/soul sound to the stage. She called longtime friend Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was (Not Was), Willie Nelson) to join her live band. Randy brought his Detroit blues/rock edge to her music. In June, Randy’s band, The Boneshakers, was playing The Newport Beach Jazz Festival on the same bill as Mindi’s band, and she hopped on stage to “sit in” with The Boneshakers. “There was so much electricity on stage. We all felt it. The blues and rock just pulsed through me. Everyone played with complete abandon,” Abair said. “It felt like home. And most of my band was also playing with Randy’s band. It was really only about hiring longtime Boneshakers vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson (Bonnie Raitt, Was (Not Was), Lyle Lovett). So we made it official and hit the road as Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers.” Which brings us to Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers Live in Seattle, set for release September 25, 2015 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group. Continue reading

Various Artists – Smooth Jazz Hits: #1 Chart-Toppers

SJHThis collection features 12 of the hottest, recent Smooth Jazz hits, straight from the tops of the Smooth AC and Smooth Jazz charts. Featuring tracks by Mindi Abair, George Benson, Boney James, Kenny G, and Dave Koz, among other stars of the genre, Smooth Jazz Hits: #1 Chart-Toppers features original hit songs, plus grooving covers of favorites such as the Beatles’ ‘Got to Get You Into My Life,’ Michael Jackson’s ‘Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground),’ and Ne-Yo’s ‘Champagne Life.’ This collection delivers a soulful, classy, and fun way to get the party started!

Get this Smooth Jazz collection at

Mindi Abair – Wild Heart

It’s probably not fair to pigeonhole Mindi Abair’s Wild Heart (Heads Up, 2014) as a smooth jazz album. Sure, there’s a smooth or contemporary jazz element. But this album is about Abair expressing herself through a variety of moods, touching on blues, rock, funk and an all-around good time.

The core band consists of Abair, alto, tenor and baritone saxes; Adam Berg, piano and keyboards; Itai Shapira, guitar and bass; Jake Najor, drums; Todd Simon, trumpet; and Elizabeth Lea, trombone. Special guests are sprinkled throughout.

Trombone Shorty sits in on the opening track, “Amazing Game.” Co-written by Abair with Jim Peterik, who also plays percussion, this track has a party vibe throughout. Abair, Shorty and other horns finish the song with a celebratory flourish.

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Mindi Abair – Wild Heart

MindiAbair_WildHeartlMindi Abair is one of the most dynamic performers on the music scene today. In addition to her acclaimed solo work, she was the featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol, jammed with Paul Shaffer on the Late Show with David Letterman and joined rock legends Aerosmith for their 2012 summer tour. More recently, Abair received a 2014 GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Summer Horns, a #1 recording with her friends Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, four of the most pre-eminent saxophonists in contemporary music.

In a career that spans seven solo albums and countless collaborations in the studio and live on stage, Abair has made her mark on a broad stretch of the musical landscape that includes jazz, pop, rock, R&B, soul, funk and more. The powerhouse saxophonist/vocalist has made scores of friends along the way and earned the respect of top-shelf artists representing every one of the aforementioned genres.

Several of those friends join her on Wild Heart, her new album that includes guest performances by – and songwriting collaborations with – Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, Trombone Shorty, Max Weinberg, Waddy Wachtel and others. Produced by Abair and the illustrious Los Angeles production trio The Decoders (Adam Berg, Itai Shapira and Todd Simon), Wild Heart is set for release on May 27, 2014 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group. Continue reading

Various Artists – Jazz Responds: An All-Star Compilation To Benefit Victims Of Human Trafficking

It is estimated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today, which is more than at any other time in history. This shocking statistic is even more compelling when you consider that approximately 1 million of these slaves are children. Many of these children, some as young as five years old, are forced to work as prostitutes in brothels to fuel the Global Sex Trade. Shockingly, this is not an issue relegated to Third World countries – it happens on nearly every continent, including right here in the United States.

So, what can we do about it?

The solution is complex because laws in every country need to be considered, the safety and anonymity of the victims must be considered, and the fact that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry means there are enemies to those who would try and stop it.

However, there are solutions and you can take part in them. For example, making sure the products you buy are “Slave-Free” helps to curb the demand for slave labor. Being vigilant and knowing what signs to look for when you see young children or foreign workers in seemingly unfamiliar situations is important. Helping to fund groups that are working to rescue and restore victims and punish the perpetrators is crucial to eradicating the issue.

At FACT Alliance, our primary mission is the building of aftercare homes for both international and domestic victims. Studies have shown that, without proper aftercare, rescued victims often end up back in their slave life. There are known victims who could be rescued at this very moment, but they aren’t because there are not enough aftercare facilities to house and care for them. It is our hope to help raise money and partner with other existing organizations to fulfill this great need. By building new homes and supporting existing ones, we can begin to see more victims rescued and restored.

To learn more about the issue and how you can get involved (or to donate more!), please visit us at

All profits will go towards the rescue and restoration of victims of human trafficking and the child sex trade.
12. DAVID PACK– “UNTIL THE TIME” (Exclusive Track)

Support this mission and buy the album at CDBaby.

Mindi Abair – In Hi-Fi Stereo

Mindi Abair was born into a musical family. Her father, Lance Abair, was a sax player too and her grandmother was an opera singer. She graduated at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Magna Cum Laude with a degree in woodwind performance.

She build her career the stony way performing first in jazz clubs, restaurants and coffee shops. She was often told: “We don’t need any more saxophone players, we have too many.” Fortunately she was hired by Bobby Lyle and Jonathan Butler as a side-person. That helped her to find connections to Rick Braun, Teena Marie, and Adam Sandler. A further step was the tour with the Backstreet Boys and her performances with Mandy Moore.

After her debut album It Just Happens That Way (2003) she released Come As You Are (2004), and Life Less Ordinary (2006) on GRP Records. Her next album Stars (2008) was released on Peak Records, a division of Concord Records. After the merger of Peak Records and Heads Up International her new album In Hi-Fi Stereo is scheduled for release on Heads Up May, 18.

Mindi comments her new album: “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.”

Any Way You Wanna has that unadorned attitude Mindi announces in her above cited reflection. Supported by a stomping beat Mindi blows the sax with her own lack of respect.

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