Title - 'All My Strings'
Artist - Mariea Antoinette
For those not in the know, Urban-jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette is releasing her third album on April, 24th, 2020 via Infinity/Maasai Productions.
Entitled All My Strings, and with Antoinette's previous albums having been designed to place the classical harp in surprising contexts (such as R&B, jazz and even hip-hop), here on her new album the focus is more vibrational, celebrating the progress and unique contributions made by stringed instruments in music.
2. 'Yearning For Your Love'
3. 'All My Strings'
4. 'Loving You'
5. 'Ain't Playin'
6. 'That Thing'
7. 'Sekmet: Lioness Goddess'
8. 'Garden Of Peace'
The San Diego-based musician, who has been balancing her solo career with being a member of the all-star female ensemble Jazz in Pink since 2007, opens this sweepingly vibrant album with the euphoric 'Overture,' and backs that seamlessly with both the Earth, Wind & Fire vibe of 'Yearning For Your Love' (which is actually a Gap Band original), and then the free flowing funky majesty of the title track, 'All My Strings' is brought forth.
Next comes one of my own personal favorites, Antionette's laid back, smooth and sultry rendition of Minnie Riperton's all-time masterpiece, 'Loving You' (which includes the surviving members of Fattburger, an old school contemporary jazz group whose founding member, the late Carl Evans, had been Antoinette's very first producer) and that's followed by the sterner back bone of 'Ain't Playin'.'
Then comes Antoinette's upbeat, innovatively smooth, R&B/jazz approach to the albums first single, a take on the classic track from Lauryn Hill’s catalog, her 1998 hit, 'Doo Wop (That Thing)' (now simply titled 'That Thing').
Bringing the album to a close is the funky, bass-led wonderment of 'Sekmet: Lioness Goddess,' a soothing spoken word piece over music by Lonnie Liston Smith found within 'Garden Of Peace,' and then this ornately beautiful album rounds out with the orchestrated magnificence of 'Gaia.'
"I was taking a break in the studio after we had recorded 'Skemet: Lioness Goddess,' and began playing the harp, channeling what was in my heart," Antoinette recalls about the creation of that last track, 'Giia.'
"Allan (Phillips, Producer) walked into the room and asked what I was playing and said that he had to record it. It wasn't planned at all. Totally impromptu. Suddenly 'Gaia' was born."
“I chose the track for its funky, innovative rhythm and the beats are very cool," Antoinette explains, explaining why she chose to record the classic Lauryn Hill track. "It’s a perfect song for harp that people are not expecting."
"Lauryn Hill is a music pioneer and a leading voice for women and for her style, ingenuity and edginess. The stories she tells through her music and lyrics are fresh and unique."
"‘That Thing’ schools both women and men on motivations, keeping your eyes open and being wise in relationships. Everyone loved it when we played it live in San Diego,” she adds.
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