Pianist and composer Stu Mindeman will release his new album September 14. It’s called Woven Threads, and it is a reflection of hazy memories, self-rediscovery, and the nexus between the cultures of North and South America.
Currently residing in Chicago, Mindeman spent a portion of his childhood in Santiago, Chile, where his father was part of the Santiago Symphony. While there, he was exposed to Chilean folk music and learned Spanish. Years later, as Mindeman embarked on his career in music, he worked with Latin American artists. As he toured South America, his vague memories of Santiago were reawakened.
In 2017, Mindeman returned to Chile, where he discovered a vibrant music scene. Later the same year, he was invited back to Chile to perform. While there, Mindeman decided to record an album with Chilean artists. The result is Woven Threads, which features the musical gifts of Carlos Cortes Diaz on drums, Milton Russell on bass, jazz singer Francesca Ancarola, and Ana Tijoux.
The album’s title (Woven Threads) reflects Mindeman’s tribute to the Nueva Cancion artist Violetta Parra, whose tapestries enchanted him.
Woven Threads comprises eight tracks. Highlights on the album include “Casi Casi (feat. Ancarola),” a Latin jazz number with a persuasive groove and Ancarola’s elegantly textured tones. “Sin Sentido” (feat. Tijoux and Marquis Hill)” delivers smooth jazz that is flavored with touches of hip-hop, including the rapping skills of Tijoux. The amalgamation coruscates with suffused energy and cool colors.
My favorite is “No Puedes Volver Atrás (feat. Ancarola)” because of its translucent ambience and gently sparkling piano. Ancarola’s voice is beautiful beyond belief.
Woven Threads is glorious, defying description by means of adjectives like superb, stellar, lush, gorgeous, brilliant, and superlative. Essentially, it’s a musical delight, ear candy of the sweetest type. This is most definitely a must-listen-to album. When it drops, be sure to give it a listen. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry.
Follow Stu Mindeman on stumindeman.com.