Currently residing in Chicago, the pianist Stuart Mindeman spent his formative years in Santiago, Chile. His worldly travels and the influence of his distant past come together nicely in his album Woven Threads, a colourful, multi-scented bouquet.
With Ana Tijoux’s rap stylings accompanied by the jazz phrases of the saxophone on “Sin Sentido”, the strongly worded but soft-spoken themes of “What Word”, as well as the pairing of Francesca Ancarola’s voice with the latino-inflected piano riffs on “Casi, Casi” and “La Casa de al Lado”, this musical union of North and South America is quite striking.
The recording, beginning in Chile and ending in the United States, features an impressive array of talents with diverse backgrounds. It includes Francesca Ancarola’s deep tones and the voice of chicago crooner, Kurt Elling (both of whom Stu Mindeman supports on the piano and arranges music for), Franco-Chilean rapper/ singer Ana Tijoux and Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón. This surprisingly eclectic cast, to which Stu Mindeman playfully retorts with his piano flourishes, become a mix that is perfectly managed by the pianist himself.
Stu Mindeman, Woven Threads (Sunnyside Records)