Life Less Ordinary

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Mindi Abair has been a force in pop and jazz since she moved to Los Angeles. When she signed to GRP she really made her mark as a solo artist. Life Less Ordinary is her fourth recording under her own name since 1999. She has toured tirelessly, played on dozens of sessions, and been a regular on smooth jazz radio and pop stations. Life Less Ordinary is the most diverse things she's issued. There's the taut, sheeny groove jazz she's become famous for on the funky opener "Do You Miss Me," with a vocal chorus and trippy keyboards and programming by producer Michael Hager. "Long Ride Home" is the album's standout track. One can plainly hear the influence of David Sanborn, Tom ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Mindi Abair has been a force in pop and jazz since she moved to Los Angeles. When she signed to GRP she really made her mark as a solo artist. Life Less Ordinary is her fourth recording under her own name since 1999. She has toured tirelessly, played on dozens of sessions, and been a regular on smooth jazz radio and pop stations. Life Less Ordinary is the most diverse things she's issued. There's the taut, sheeny groove jazz she's become famous for on the funky opener "Do You Miss Me," with a vocal chorus and trippy keyboards and programming by producer Michael Hager. "Long Ride Home" is the album's standout track. One can plainly hear the influence of David Sanborn, Tom Scott, and Michael Brecker on her playing. It's a simple vamp that gives way to a slippery chorus. It's more a song than a jazz jam. The piece is tightly composed and arranged, and its groove is undeniable -- especially in the multi-tracked saxophones. The album's first surprise happens in her cover of Rickie Lee Jones' "It Must Be Love," from her Magazine album. Abair's treatment makes it sound like it came off a slick Nashville country version of Ghostyhead! With programmed loops by Hager, very hushed and nocturnal. Abair apes Jones' vocal -- including her phrasing -- but she doesn't have the voice and sounds flat. Michael Landau's guitar playing is utterly tasteful and beautiful and Keb Mo's brief dobro solo are the strongest parts of the cut, though Lalah Hathaway's backing vocals are fine as well and steal the show from Abair. "The Joint" is solid; a tough, blues-influenced groove which, with muddier production, could have appeared on a Blue Note soul-jazz record from the late '60s, or one of the Crusaders early sides with Larry Carlton. "Slinky"'s fractured, slow, sexy funk is in-the-pocket and backbone-slipping. "Ordinary Love," along with the Jones' tune -- both attempts at singles -- is simply awful. The melody, with its Latin undertones, is nowhere, and the vocal would be forgettable if it weren't so in-your-face bad. "Bloom" should have been the album's closer with its infectious, sing-able lyricism and its euphoric choruses and bridge, but the semi-orchestral "Far Away" not Carole King's tune gets that honor, and it's a fine piece of new age jazz if that's what moves you. In all, there are great moments here. Abair has a great funky jazz record in her somewhere, but she, her manager, or her producers need to reign her in. She is aware of her strengths, it seems, but not her weaknesses.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Grp Records
  • UPC: 602498509579
  • Catalog Number: 000622202
  • Sales rank: 1,636

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Do You Miss Me? (4:16)
  2. 2 Long Ride Home (4:21)
  3. 3 It Must Be Love (4:11)
  4. 4 The Joint (5:13)
  5. 5 Rain (5:13)
  6. 6 True Blue (4:26)
  7. 7 Slinky (3:43)
  8. 8 Ordinary Love (3:45)
  9. 9 Bloom (4:45)
  10. 10 Far Away (4:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mindi Abair Primary Artist, Keyboards, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Vocals, Background Vocals, fender rhodes
Lalah Hathaway Vocals, Background Vocals
Ricky Peterson Organ, Piano, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion, Conga
Bud Harner Ride Cymbal
Larry Klein Bass
Michael Landau Guitar, Electric Guitar
John "J.R." Robinson Drums
Keb' Mo' Dobro, Soloist
Julie Rogers Violin
Geoffrey Moore Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Timothy Loo Cello
Matthew Hager Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Tambourine, Slide Guitar
Alwyn Wright Violin
Caroline Buckman Viola
Stan Sargeant Bass
Technical Credits
Rickie Lee Jones Composer
Bud Harner Executive Producer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Steve Sykes Engineer
Julie Rogers String Arrangements
Hollis King Art Direction
Mindi Abair Composer
Matthew Hager Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, drum programming
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This girl can play!! ...and sing!!

    I bought this CD at Peter White's live Christmas performance with Mindy and Rich Braun. It was outstanding and Mindy was amazing! She has fun and loves what she does. She can blow on that sax as well as the best and when she sings her voice is smooth and pleasant to the ear. This CD has great tracks -- don't pass it up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews