Saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair’s career has been on the upswing in recent years. In addition to her solo work, she was the featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol, jammed with Paul Shaffer on the Late Show with David Letterman and joined rock legends Aerosmith for their 2012 summer tour. More recently, she received a 2014 Grammy nomination in the “Best Pop Instrumental Album” category for Summer Horns, which she recorded with pals Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot.
Several more friends join Abair on Wild Heart, her forthcoming album that includes guest performances by—and songwriting collaborations with—Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, Trombone Shorty, Max Weinberg, Waddy Wachtel and others. Produced by Abair and Los Angeles production trio The Decoders, Wild Heart is set for release May 27 on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group.
“I’ve had all these friends in rock ’n’ roll and pop for so many years. I’ve been a part of their music and careers, but I never quite knew how they could fit into my career.” Abair says. “I’ve worked hard to write songs that had more of an organic spirit about them—a little more rock ‘n’ roll, a little more soul, and a lot more abandon.”