Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mimi Jones, A New Day

Not since my brief, yet prolific tenure (smirk!) at Dallas' Creative Arts Academy, home to Nora Jones, among others, have I heard a blend of style and talent such as this in Jazz for a young musician. This even rivals some of the famed "One O'clock Jazz Band" sessions I was privileged to hear (North Texas State University). I've had a few Cd's for review for sometime and have been remiss to listen, much less review for personal reasons...thank God those issues are resolving, this is truly a treat to start back with!

As always I start with some research while listening, and naturally I poked my head in on the home page. Hailing from New York City, with family roots in the Caribbean, Miriam Sullivan as she was formerly known, has some downright stats! beginning with her training in multi-instrumentation, to the truly strong list of associates she has played with, right down to her own personal spiritual take on life and the message she conveys, wow, what a sleeper. You know, I glanced at a couple of other reviews, ones that quoted who she trained with, listed who she played with, and nope, I ain't gonna waste time going there...its the music now that counts. Let's start with "Spiral", shall we? Shades of Steely Dan, overtones of Jeff Beck, give way to a sultry voice that I read one person call shallow? I don't think she got what was here. The keyboards of Miki Hayama and the strings of Marvin Sewell's guitar took me back to a better time in music.

"Watch Your Step" sets in motion a funk meets blue grass meets blues situation that totally explained my iPhone. When I loaded this CD into iTunes, the genre came up as "Unclassifiable", exactly, thank you. Ambrose Akinmisure and, trumpet, and whomever else it was in the brass (sorry I couldn't find credits in the bio, maybe it was all one?) broke down a chain of melody with Mimi's bass and Marvin, Miki, all join in to tell what "stepping from the train" must surely feel like in a Harlem rainstorm.

"Suite Mary" brought me back to that fantastic sound of the One O'clock Jazz Band, improvisational sound, trading turns showing talent and my head just couldn't stop bopping, yes I know, I said Bopping...
The shades of "Give Peace a Chance" were just one more example of this artist's diversity. Marcus Gilmore (drums), Lucianna Padmore (drums on tracks 1 and 11) provide a sound undercurrent through it all, very sound composition. "Fast Lane", may very well be my favorite track, a rolling instrumental showcasing talent all around, simple, traditional jazz, crisp and clean.

I could tell you about every single track, but then what fun would that be? I'll leave the other eight for you to discover on your own, all in all I give this two big toes up (my thumbs are busy typing!) Released on the label, Hot Tone Music, this is only a taste of yet to come I hope...enjoy!


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