I saw it coming. Smooth jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair joined Aerosmith for their 2012 Summer Tour and Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg for a night at the Beacon Theater. Infected by the Rock music virus her music became edgier. Mindi comments:  “From touring with Aerosmith to getting to sit in with Bruce Springsteen for a song, those experiences gave me the permission to go a little more rootsy, and I’m going to run with it!″

The EastWest Sessions is her second album with the group The Boneshakers. The first one was Live In Seattle (2015). Mindi already worked with Boneshakers' founder Randy Jacobs on his albums From Me To You (2005) and Rhythm And The Beat (2013). The Boneshakers are Randy Jacobs (guitar, vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (vocals), Rodney Lee (keys), Derek Frank (bass, vocals), and Third Richardson (drums, vocals). Featured guest musicians on the new album are iconic Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and Grammy awarded singer Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz better known under his stage name Fantastic Negrito.

The album starts with Vinyl, a powerful rock-fueled song showcasing Mindi in the double feature as singer and saxophonist. Forgotten is the sweetness of former records. This Mindi is sharp like a steel needle. Not That Kind of Girl is not just a title, it's a statement. Third Richardson treats his drums with mighty beats and guitar and sax crank up the volume to the max. With a lot of party noise, Mindi pushes her rock heart to the limit.

Play to Win continues the melodic rock way, groups like Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin are famous for. No wonder. Producer of this album is Kevin Shirley, who already worked with all these well-known rock formations. Widow of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain Courtney Love once stated, that saxophones don't belong to rock & roll. Pretty Good for a Girl featuring Joe Bonamassa is the proof of the contrary.

Let Me Hear It from You presents vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson, whose voice has matured in old age. As lead singer of the unorthodox Detroit soul / funk / disco band Was (Not Was) he has reached a notable level of recognition and finally excelled with his second solo album Get What You Deserve. Live My Life is more than a commitment to the rock music or the decision for this style. It's flashy, garish and loud as life itself.

Freedom has a captivating melody in a nutshell. Around this core blusters the force of nature commonly known as hard rock. Had to Learn the Hard Way is firing on all cylinders showcasing Mindi as vocalist and saxophonist again. The bluesy She Don't Cry No More by Fantastic Negrito certainly draws you further out of your comfort nest. Authentic and rootsy.

Done Me Wrong is a further rock gem with Mindi in the known double role, expressive and right to the point. I Love to Play the Saxophone is an uplifting melodic finish with an infectious Don't Worry, Be Happy-feeling. 

Since her solo album Wild Heart and the live album with The Boneshakers Live In Seattle we know about Mindi's affinity for blues and rock music. With The EastWest Sessions, named after the recording studio of the album, Mindi consequently follows this style with great success and greeted by the press with outstanding reviews. After this album it should be clear for all, Mindi has left the contemporary jazz genre and has found a new platform on which she feels comfortable and which corresponds to her true talents.







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Album Information

Title: The EastWest Sessions
Artist: Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers
Year: 2017
Genre: Rock
Label: Pretty Good For A Girl Records

1 Vinyl 3:06
2 Not That Kind of Girl 3:31
3 Play to Win 4:06
4 Pretty Good for a Girl (feat. Joe Bonamassa) 7:07
5 Let Me Hear It from You (feat. Sweet Pea Atkinson) 4:30
6 Live My Life 3:30
7 Freedom 4:51
8 Had to Learn the Hard Way 4:32
9 She Don't Cry No More (feat. Fantastic Negrito) 3:56
10 Done Me Wrong 5:57
11 I Love to Play the Saxophone 2:53

Further Reviews:

In Hi-Fi Stereo

Live In Seattle