But as the saying goes, "No good deed goes unpunished."
However, her album NO GOOD DEED, released on this day in 2019, resulted in no such punishment - nor have any of her good works.
NO GOOD DEED was a full-length studio album, recorded with the Boneshakers in the EastWest Studios and released on Mindi’s own "Pretty Good For A Girl" record label.
Steven Ovadia at Blues Rock Review wrote:
"Mindi Abair’s NO GOOD DEED is a study in contrasts. Abair is a singer/saxophonist who doesn’t jam too much of the instrument into her songs. She’s a classic rhythm-and-blues aficionado who has a strong sense of contemporary pop. And she proudly wears her influences on her sleeve without sounding derivative. But most importantly of all, (this) album is smart and but also fun. You don’t have to think about it to enjoy it."
Dave Resto, writing in Rock and Blues Music, said:
"Much of the appeal of Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers has always been the powerful dynamic between Abair’s saxophone and (Randy) Jacob’s guitar. The two share the spotlight as lead instrumentalists, always complementing each other’s contributions. Producer Kevin Shirley did well at capturing them performing at their A game level on songs like the funky “Mess I’m In.” The selection of cover songs on No Good Deed represents a good cross section of Rock, Blues and Rhythm & Blues classics."
And Rainey Wetnight commented in Blues Blast Magazine:
"Mindi Abair is the Carrie Underwood of contemporary electric blues rock. Not only could they almost be twins in terms of looks, but both are American Idol alumnae. A third similarity is in their vivacious musical style. One could sit down for a post-show cocktail with either one of these winsome women and never feel intimidated. They’re the girls-next-door-turned-superstars you read about and see on TV, but never dream you’ll meet face-to-face. Thankfully, on her new album No Good Deed, Mindi brings her presence right to you – no backstage pass required. This scintillating series of ten original tracks will keep you fresh and energized for several hours, like caffeinated soap. Enjoy the rush while it lasts, then reapply!"
The NAMM Show is the place where professionals and students from the music, sound and live event industries gather to see the latest product launches, network while listening to amazing live music, and attend free professional education.
Here’s a clip from the Smooth Jazz Family of Theo Wanne and Mindi Abair talking about the new Mindi Abair 2 Alto Mouthpiece at the 2022 NAMM Show convention in Anaheim California 6/3/22.
The landmark 10-Year Anniversary event is co-hosted by former She Rocks Awards honoree Mindi Abair, two-time GRAMMY nominated saxophonist who has appeared on such programs as The Late Show with David Letterman, American Idol, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Joining is Katie Daryl, the acclaimed executive producer of highly-rated AXS Network and digital series The Top Ten Revealed and At Home and Social.
Check out the full list of honorees below:
Dionne Warwick – Six-time GRAMMY® and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, multi-platinum iconic singer, actress, television host, former UN Goodwill Ambassador and interior designer with her own WG Design Lab
Meredith Brooks – singer-songwriter and guitarist celebrating the 25th anniversary of her single, “Bitch”
Carmen Vandenberg – lead guitarist and one half of the GRAMMY®-nominated rock duo BONES UK, sponsored by Blackstar
MILCK – singer/songwriter, leading advocate for women’s rights and celebrated role model within the music industry
Yvette Young – guitarist and front-woman for the math rock band Covet, sponsored by Sweetwater
EveAnna Manley – president, Manley Laboratories aka “The Tube Chick”
Sherri Chung – Award-winning film and TV composer and Governor of the Music Branch of the Television Academy
Kerry Fiero – creator of Girl Power! Women Working In The Music Industry Conference, former Artist Manager at Strive Management & adjunct professor at San Francisco State University in the Music/ Recording Industry Program and the Event Planning program
Leslie Gaston-Bird – mixer, sound editor, author and a champion of diversity in the audio industry
Lyndsey Parker – She Rocks Awards co-host and Yahoo Entertainment Music Editor, SiriusXM host and author
Julie Robbins – CEO of effects pedal manufacturer Earthquaker Devices
WILD HEART was my seventh full-length solo studio album. Released on this day eight years ago (May 27, 2014), WILD HEART marked my fourth release on Concord Records imprint, Heads Up International. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, staying there for two weeks.
The album received a 2015 Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category, my second Grammy nomination.
WILD HEART was recorded in late 2013 and early 2014 at several studios including Manifest Music in Santa Monica, CA, Elevated Basement Studio in Savannah, GA, Morrisound in Tampa, FL and Skip Saylor Studios in Northridge, CA. The album features several of my good friends as guest musicians, including Max Weinberg, Gregg Allman, Booker T. Jones, Keb' Mo', Joe Perry and Trombone Shorty.
WILD HEART had me stepping away from my traditional smooth jazz style, for a more rock n roll influenced sound.
Critics often commented on the different sound of the album:
James Woods of AXS said "WILD HEART's roots actually go back to when Abair found herself 'moonlighting' - performing a lot of rock and roll, blues and organic music. So it should come as no surprise that sharing the stage with the likes of Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran would eventually be absorbed into her musical psyche. And it was those experiences that inspired Abair to want to capture the mojo she's been holding in for so long."
Thom Jurek of All Music called the record "a much rowdier, grimier fashion."
Jazz Weekly said "Abair's sax growls, grunts and grinds like it's a smoky joint in Lafayette, Louisiana, with more gristle than a T-Bone steak at The Pantry."
And All Music said of the album; "Though it pays unapologetic tribute to retro inspirations, it does so with 21st century sophistication, a gritty, raucous spirit, and exceptional creative imagination."
You can also find "I'll be Your Home", "Wild Heart", "Haute Sauce" and "Just Say When" on my just-released "Best of Mindi Abair" album.
Midway through the festivities, Mindi and Eric snuck across the street and changed into formal attire. When they returned, the guests quickly realized they were in the midst of a wedding.
Dave Koz, who set them up on their first date, officiated their nuptials.
The day - May 25 - happens to be NATIONAL WINE DAY. Coincidence? We think not!
Regardless, we wish them the happiest of anniversaries.
We, her MindiWorld staff, join in wishing her many happy returns.
The second night at sea, Dave, Mindi, Richard, Vincent and Kenny returned to the stage, wowing the new crowd with their Summer Horns show.
But on the final night of Week 1, ALL the artists marched through to the delight of the crowd.
Immediately before entering the dining room, the group took this selfie in the hallway ...
Mindi Abair Explores R&B 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'
Saxophonist Mindi Abair has taken a temporary break from her usual "smooth jazz" regimen to explore the golden age of R&B on her new CD, 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'. The album is funkier and more soulful than anything Mindi has ever recorded.
Remember spinning records on an old hi-fi stereo and watching the needle sway back and forth in the grooves of the vinyl? Or, reading the liner notes printed on the back of album jackets while drum beats vibrated through the speaker's wiry mesh covers. Those long ago but not forgotten moments were the inspiration for Mindi Abair's quest to capture the glory days of funk and soul.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mindi inherited her musical skills from her father, a saxophonist and keyboard player in a '70s R&B band. "Between watching my father onstage and spending time with my grandmother who was an opera singer, music was always around me," she says.
Mindi first learned to play piano at age five, but switched to alto sax a few years later. Mindi's success in her high school marching band led to more serious training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she earned a degree in woodwind performance.
Mindi relocated to Southern California and became a fixture on tours with Duran Duran, The Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore. Her move into jazz came in 2003 with her first major label solo release, "It Just Happens That Way."
For In Hi-Fi Stereo, Mindi admits that listening to the music of soul icons James Brown, Al Green, Junior Walker, and Archie Bell and The Drells gave her the idea to add funk and soul to her signature pop-jazz style. The outcome, she says, "is a fun, feel-good record inspired by some of those great sounds and grooves from that period."
Mindi composed all but two of the songs on the album, including a tune she describes as "a mix of old Motown and classic Ramsey Lewis", "All Star."
The album, released on Heads Up International (A division of Concord Records) included the following tracks ...
You can also find “Be Beautiful” on my new “Best of Mindi Abair” album.
|Mindi Abair||Composer, Horn Arrangements, Primary Artist, Producer, Sax (Alto), Vocals|
|Lance Abair||Hammond B3|
|Paul Castro||Hair Stylist, Make-Up|
|Jessi Collins||Vocals (Background)|
|Larissa Collins||Art Direction|
|Ryan Collins||Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals, Vocals (Background)|
|Michael Gassel||Package Layout|
|Jay Gore||Composer, Guitar (Electric)|
|Constanze Lindsay Han||Stylist|
|Bud Harner||Ride Cymbal|
|David Ryan Harris||Composer, Featured Artist, Guitar, Vocals|
|Lalah Hathaway||Featured Artist, Vocal Arrangement, Vocals, Vocals (Background)|
|Randy Jacobs||Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)|
|Rodney Lee||Composer, Hammond B3, Soloist, Wurlitzer|
|Reggie McBride||Bass, Bass (Upright)|
|Betty Jean Newsome||Composer|
|Cassandra O'Neal||Hammond B3|
|Phil Parlapiano||Composer, Fender Rhodes, Organ|
|Rex Rideout||Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Programming, Wurlitzer|
|DeWayne Swan||Hammond B3|
|Jamey Tate||Composer, Drums|
|Stephen Theard||Arranger, Composer, Keyboards, Programming|
|Lee Thornberg||Trombone, Trumpet|
|Dave Woodford||Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)|
|Tip Wyman||Mixing Assistant|
The four horns (Mindi, Dave, Richard Elliott and Vincent Ingala) were joined on stage by Kenny Lattimore and Cory Wong with his band.
The first day at sea featured the popular Sax Summit with Mindi, Dave, Richard Elliot, Candy Dulfer, Marcus Anderson, Eric Darius, Kirk Whalum and Adrian Crutchfield.
Mindi attended Northside Christian from Kindergarten through her Senior year of High School, leading the marching band as drum major, and graduating as the Salutatorian.
Because it was on this day, fourteen years ago, that Mindi released her "Stars" album.
The album peaked at Number 4 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with her single "Smile" reaching No. 1 on the R&R jazz airplay charts. Simultaneously, the single "Stars" (co-written and produced by Matthew Hager) charted at Number 29 Adult Contemporary R&R.
Several of the songs have appeared on Mindi's weekly Wine+Music Sessions, and the opening song "Smile" made the "Best Of Mindi Abair" album. The full track list included...
|Mindi Abair||Composer, Flute, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Primary Artist, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Saxophone, Vocal Arrangement, Vocals|
|Joshua Blanchard||Assistant Engineer|
|Charlean Carmon||Vocals (Background)|
|Ryan Dankanich||Sax (Baritone)|
|Shawn Davis||Bass, Guitar (Bass)|
|Brendan Dekora||Assistant Engineer|
|Dee-Dee Foster||Vocals (Background)|
|Matthew Hager||Bass, Composer, Drum Programming, Engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Sound Effects, String Arrangements, Tambourine, Vocals (Background)|
|Kenya Hathaway||Vocals (Background)|
|Andi Howard||Executive Producer|
|Valerie Ince||Label Coordination|
|Abe Laboriel, Jr.||Drums, Tambourine|
|Patty Palazzo||Art Direction, Package Design|
|Ricky Peterson||Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano|
|Dwight Sills||Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)|
|Jason Steele||Synthesizer Strings|
|Steve Sykes||Engineer, Mixing|
|John Taylor||Guitar (Acoustic)|
|Stephen Tirpak||Horn, Horn Arrangements, Trombone, Trumpet|
|Mark Wexler||Executive Producer|
Back in 2008, Jonathan Widran, writing for AllMusic, included some interesting references. Mindi's college friends Abraham Laboriel, Jr (who went on to play in Paul McCartney's band) and Matthew Hager return for the just-released "Forever" album. And Jonathan mentioned "the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s".
On one of 2008's most popular and dynamic urban contemporary jazz releases, the popular saxophonist made certain to live up to the lofty title of her previous outing, Life Less Ordinary. Aiming for those Stars, she expanded on the vocalizing she did on her earlier outings and wrote a batch of infectious songs that showcased her attractive vocals like never before. Five tracks -- nearly half the disc -- are adult contemporary pop songs that fit comfortably on the charts alongside John Mayer, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Sara Bareilles.
It may have seemed risky to push the envelope after scoring a number one album, but her instrumental hits always showed that she was a popster at heart. Helping Abair and her guitarist/producer Matthew Hager realize her creative "outside the box" approach is a choice group of stalwarts from the pop world: keyboardist Ricky Peterson, drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr., and Richard Dodd, cello player for the Foo Fighters.
With the media so immersed in reflecting the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s, Abair's ultimate goal with her five vocal tracks is to bring light to the darkness, an unapologetic, optimistic sense of hope and idealism. Case in point: the lilting folk-pop tune "Change," written with frequent collaborator Tyrone Stevens, says that change is the one thing we can count on, and also the concept that can bring us all together.
On the power pop title track ballad, she looks to the "Stars" as a connective thread between lovers who are far apart in physical distance. The Elton John/Lionel Richie-influenced "On and On" reflects wistfully on the innocence of her small-town youth (in St. Petersburg, FL) and the way music has become an integral spiritual part of so many people's lives. Her heartfelt, keyboard-driven anthem "I Wonder" is her generation's twist on the concept of "Imagine," while "Here for You" is an uplifting, autobiographical old-school soul-blues ballad that chronicles her incredible years-long friendship with Hager. These are smartly balanced by instrumentals that range from light and jangling ("Smile") to edgy, bluesy, and funky ("F.L.A. Swing").
Here's a fun clip of them performing together, backed by 12 incredible musicians at last year's ICFC 10th Anniversary celebration. 🔥 Enjoy Stevie Wonder's, "I Wish!"...
Released on April 18, 2006, the album, co-written with Mindi's good friend Matthew Hager (and recorded in his Hollywood bungalow) jumped to #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart. Mindi talks about recording in Matthew's home...
The beauty of recording there was that we could take our time ... make mistakes ... try things that maybe we wouldn't in a big studio with a clock ticking or people watching. Matthew and I went to Berklee together and have been best friends since then. We've seen each other through a lot of music and a lot of phases and experiences. It's great because I'll play a solo and he knows me so well that he'll say, "Take it again. It didn't sound like you. It has to be something you'd play and only you'd play!" Wow. Who else would know what makes me me as a player, but a friend who's been in the trenches with me the whole time as I evolved and learned and became who I am? That's incredible.
And recording in his house in a familiar place is priceless. There's no pressure to be something I'm not. There's no pressure to play perfectly. We're just there to create. Some of the best "takes" on the record are takes that we were just playing around as we wrote the song.
We went back in a bigger studio later to "recreate" those tracks more perfectly, and it wasn't the same vibe, the same spirit. We'd end up using the "demo" because it had more heart and soul and spontaneity. There's a spirit to friends writing a song together and just having fun in the moment.
And talking about an inspiration for the album, she tells us...
One of my major influences for my cd was Rickie Lee Jones's "The Magazine". I couldn't stop listening to it! I ended up covering one of her songs "It Must Be Love". I changed it quite a bit, but it's a tribute to her and what a great writer and artist she is to me.
Several of the additional tracks continue to make their way into Mindi's current shows:
The Joint - A down and dirty, rock/soul jam that's both retro and raucous - an homage to all the broken-down, vibey clubs she played on the way up.
Bloom- Stadium Jazz (by her own definition) where she encourages audiences to wave their lighters (now cell phones) back and forth. Bloom is also included on Mindi's "Best of" album.
Other highlights from the album include:
It Must Be Love - Featuring Lalah Hathaway on background vocals and Keb' Mo' on a trippy dobro solo.
Rain- A tribute to the spirit of the Hurricane Katrina survivors.
COMPLETE TRACK LIST
1 DO YOU MISS ME?
2 LONG RIDE HOME
3 IT MUST BE LOVE
4 THE JOINT
6 TRUE BLUE
8 ORDINARY LOVE
10 FAR AWAY
Alto Saxophone - Mindi Abair
Arranged by (String Arrangements) - Julie Rogers
Art Direction - Hollis King
Background Vocals, Lead Vocals - Mindi Abair
Featured Background Vocals - Lalah Hathaway
Bass - Larry Klein, Matthew Hager, Stan Sargeant
Cello - Timothy Loo
Congas - Paulinho Da Costa
Cymbal [Ride Cymbal] - Bud Harner
Design - Isabelle Wong, Isthetic Dobro - Keb' Mo'
Drum Programming - Matthew Hager, Stevo Théard
Drums - Jamey Tate, John "J.R." Robinson, Juan Hercules
Electric Guitar - Goffrey Moore, Matthew Hager, Michael Landau
Electric Piano - Mindi Abair, Ricky Peterson
Engineer [Additional Engineering By] - Matthew Hager
Engineer [Assistant Engineer, Capitol Studios] - Aaron Walk
Engineer [Assistant Engineer, Castle Oaks] - Joshua Blanchard
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By - Steve Sykes
Executive-Producer - Bud Harner
Guitar - Matthew Hager, Michael Landau
Keyboards - Matthew Hager, Mindi Abair, Stevo Théard
Management - Garry C. Kief, Jerry J. Sharell
Mastered By - Stephen Marcussen
Organ - Ricky Peterson
Percussion - Matthew Hager, Paulinho Da Costa
Photography By - Jeff Bender
Piano - Ricky Peterson
Producer [Additional Production] - Stevo Théard
Producer [Produced By] - Matthew Hager
Programmed By [Programming] - Matthew Hager
Slide Guitar - Matthew Hager
Soprano Saxophone - Mindi Abair
String Arrangement - Julie Rogers
Synth Bass - Matthew Hager
Tambourine - Matthew Hager
Viola - Caroline Buckman
Violin - Alwyn Wright, Julie Rogers
Vocals - Mindi Abair
Voice [Talking Out Of Turn] - Mindi Abair
Written-By - Matthew Hager, Mindi Abair, Stevo Théard
Watch Mindi perform "Bloom" live on last December's Peter White Christmas tour ...
And here's to living many more years of a "Life Less Ordinary".
Bobby Roebuck primarily is a jazz photographer, with a unique artistic vision. He is a creative photographer striving to capture the essence of moments to be etched in memories for a lifetime. Bobby taps into his natural talent as a visual artist and utilizes his ability to manipulate light to bring out the true beauty in his subject matter.
Bobby shoots jazz concerts and is always fascinated with the dynamic musicians’ ability to bring sweet melodies to the listener’s ears. He becomes energized along the photographer’s pit as he catches each expression of the performers and maneuvers in the right position to secure the unbelievable expressions demonstrated in each face.
Eight of Bobby’s photographs are on exhibit at The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC (SECCA), highlighting all female jazz musicians, in celebration of April’s Jazz Appreciation Month, as well as Women’s History month, which ended in March. The exhibit, called “The High Heels of Jazz,” highlight women in jazz: flutist Althea Rene; saxophonist Jazmin Ghent; saxophonist Jeanette Harris; guitarist Andrea Lisa; saxophonist Mindi Abair; violinist Chelsea Greene; saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin; and flutist, Kim Scott.
SECCA’s Southern Idiom exhibition series launched in 2017 as a platform to elevate and celebrate the work of Winston-Salem artists. In contrast to many exhibitions at SECCA, works on view in Southern Idiom are available for purchase. Bobby Roebuck’s exhibition marks the 26th installment of the series, whose alumni artists include Sharon Hardin, Terri Dowell-Dennis, Ashley Johnson, Frank Campion, Mona Wu, Owens Daniels, Jessica Singerman, Leo Rucker, Kevin Calhoun, Paul Travis Phillips, Laura Lashley, Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan and others.
Nearly 50 people attended the opening reception on Saturday, April 9, with excitement and energy while viewing the exhibition. Mentor and artist, Jerry Haynes, was quoted saying, “Bobby’s art is an expression of himself by bringing out the heart and soul of the artist.” He described Bobby as a “Renaissance Man,” meaning he goes the extra mile to make sure the viewer feels the energy of the musician on stage.
Owens Daniels, local friend, artist and photographer, who was also intrigued by the exhibit, stated, “Bobby is known for his memorable downtown jazz festival posts on Facebook and other social media outlets. Bobby captures the essence of the musicians. You can literally see the expressions in the eyes of the artist and while viewing the piece you can get that toe-tapping and finger-snapping beat. The two-dimensional lighting and placement of the camera help the observer enter into a magical place.”
Bobby shared with the gallery audience: “As a photographer, my intent is to capture the expressions of the moment in the faces of the subject being photographed. Each expression promotes the energy, experience, and love for the music. The person seeing my photograph should almost feel like they are along the stage witnessing the show or concert. Through the use of stage lighting or my personal production lighting, the lights add shadows that demonstrate a dramatic image of the face, hands or a toe-tapping beat, which helps to mark the timing of the music. Music and lighting bring life to the stage … and that’s what I want communicated to the viewer.”
The exhibition will be up through May 8. SECCA is located at 750 Marguerite Drive in Winston-Salem. Come out and enjoy the experience of the High Heels of Jazz by Photographer Bobby Roebuck. Admission is free.
She tells us ...
I recorded this album as the world shut down in March 2020. It's been a long journey to this beautiful day.
Featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Raul Malo (The Mavericks), with special appearances by Steve Perry (Journey), Rick Braun and Eric Bazilian (The Hooters), this is a very personal album that represents a coming back to myself as a solo artist and a strong sense of knowing who I am.
I hope you love my new album as much as I loved creating it. Make sure to turn it up!
And, just in case you may have missed it, please check your email as Mindi, yesterday, sent all MindiWorld members a link to the complete album. We hope you enjoy this very thoughtful gift.
Watch the trailer to the new album here ...
GRP (a division of Verve Records) had signed Mindi and released "It Just Happens That Way". The album was recorded in August 2002 at Castle Oaks Studios, Calabasas, California.
Several original songs from the record have stood the test of time. "Lucy's" (Mindi's first big hit) and "Flirt" continue to be highlights of her live shows.
In addition to some top-notch studio musicians, the album also included guest artists Marc Antoine (guitar), Jeff Golub (guitar), Dwight Sills (guitar), John Taylor (vocals) and Peter White (accordion). Mindi's long-time friend Matthew Hager co-wrote most of the songs with her, and also performs on the album.