Friday, January 10, 2014

Mimi Jones Balance Hot Tone 2014

Mimi Jones establishes herself as one of the premier female artists in improvisational music!
Brent Black /
If the name Mimi Jones sounds familiar it may be due to a musical resume including Sean Jones, Tia Fuller and the ever dynamic Terri Lyne Carrington. Far from a newbie in the traditional sense, Balance finds Jones spreading her wings on both acoustic and electric bass while tossing is solid vocal performances on an eclectic set list including stellar originals and some surprising covers from Adele, Roy Ayers and the children's classic "The Incy Wincy Spider."
The prodigious talent of Jones is more than complemented with an array of talented artists that cut a wide path on the international jazz front. Outstanding performance as consistent from this impressive collective with performances of particular note coming from Enoch Smith Jr. as well as label mates Camille Thurman and Shirazette Tinnin who are also releasing recordings on Feb. 4th. There is a slight musical kinship with fellow bassist Esperanza Spalding who has revived the Bob Dorough tune "Nothing Like You" which was previously made famous by Miles Davis from the 1967 release Sorcerer. Jones places her own indelible mark on this tune along with a smoker "Speedbump" which is a joint effort from Jones and pianist Luis Perdomo. Showing range and adaptability, Mimi Jones reharmed the tune "The Incy Wincy Spider" into something a bit more menacing and the vibe pays off as she reinvents this tune and pushes it to a new level of creativity with the minor key formulations. The soulful and soul filled cover of the 2010 Adele hit "Someone Like You" could possibly get that ever illusive cross over attention that improvisational artists so desperately need to grow their audiences past the major metropolitan areas of the United States.
Hot Tone Records is a Mimi Jones joint. Her dedication to not only her art but her sincerity in helping other female artists reach their full potential is commendable and sadly needed when major label executives still seem to conveniently look the other way when deserving talent is right in front of them. Balance is a winning effort. A solid and incredibly well developed work that showcases yet another rising star in the label's formidable talent pool.
A perfect balance.
Tracks: Nothing Like You; Traveler; Speedbump; The Incy Wincy Spider; The Spinning Tree; Patriot; Someone Like You; To Be; The Edge Of A Circle; Everybody Loves The Sunshine; Junk Funk; Dream.
Personnel: Mimi Jones: Bass and Voice; Ingrid Jensen: Trumpet; Camille Thurman: Flute and Voice; Luis Perdomo: Piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes and Moog; Enoch Smith Jr.: Piano; Miki Hayama: Piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes; Marvin Sewell: Guitar and Piano; Sean Harkness: Guitars; Shirazette Tinnin: Drums & Percussion; Justin Faulkner: Drums; Mala Waldron: Vocal