Recommended: Stu Mindeman – “Woven Threads”


There’s an effortless beauty to this album that’s quite affecting.  It’s got plenty of moving parts and they’re constantly on the move, but it’s a graceful motion.  That grace is what allows Stu Mindeman to achieve a grand unity to Woven Threads.  Melodic fragments are matches to light a fire under casual grooves.  When harmonies sweep across a song, they scoop up everything within their embrace.  Of the many dialogues in play, the rhythmic form of expression is that which behaves as the guiding force.  Nothing makes an imprint upon this music in isolation.

Mindeman returned to his Chilean roots and made the music and words of his childhood home the focus of Woven Threads.  The pianist enlists a wealth of talent to augment his own on, with Miguel Zenon, Juan Pastor, Matt Gold, Makaya McCraven, Greg Ward, Marquis Hill and Matt Ulery among the highlights.  And special mention must be made of the vocal contributions of Francesca Ancarola, Ana Tijoux and Kurt Elling, which are everything you could want from voices wading into the center of the ensemble.

Your album personnel:  Stu Mindeman (piano, keyboards, organ), Geof Bradfield (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet), Francesca Ancarola, Ana Tijoux, Kurt Elling (vocals), Milton Russell, Matt Ulery (basses), Carlos Cortes Diaz, Makaya McCraven, Juan Pastor (drums, percussion), Yuri Hevia (bombo legüero, percussion), Matt Gold (guitar), Quentin Coaxum, Victor Garcia, Marquis Hill (trumpets), Greg Ward, Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone), and Sally Blandon, Devin Velez, Sarah Marie Young (background vocals).

Released on Sunnyside Records.

Music from Chicago, IL.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon