CD Review: Mimi Jones "Balance"

April 21, 2014

[Hot Tone Music]

Veteran New York jazz bassist Mimi Jones indeed strikes a compelling stylistic balance on her sophomore effort, which launches her new label. Starting on the straightahead side with a bowed-melody reading of the Bob Dorough/Miles Davis collab “Nothing Like You,” Jones then grabs her electric bass and vocal mic for her breathy, rock-edged ode to loneliness, “Traveler.” And so it goes: The introspective instrumental “Edge of a Circle” flirts with free-form via Mimi’s upright solo; Roy Ayers’ soul-jazz classic, “Everybody Love the Sunshine,” simmers at a slower pace suited to Jones (on electric) and Camille Thurman’s stark vocal harmony; a swinging take on the familiar children’s tune “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” begins with a dark, creepy-crawly rubato intro. The true gem is a cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” which unfurls with Jones’ intimate vocal in counterpoint to her bowed long tones, and features new themes and harmonies each time around.

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