First Listen: Hannah Baiardi takes us to a "Distant Land"

(May 8, 2021) There was a time not that long ago when UAC radio featured a generation of artists who consciously blurred the lines between soul, funk and jazz. They grabbed elements of the latter, smoothing it out with accessible melodies that hit the spot for adult soul fans who felt abandoned when urban radio made the hard turn toward hip-hop. Artists like Sade, Incognito and Michael Franks rightly gathered sizeable audiences for their exquisite, jazz-influenced arrangements combined with R&B’s sense of the hook.

Michigan-based pianist and singer Hannah Baiardi is a next generation performer who comes from that now rare mold. Like her contemporary Kandace Springs, Baiardi has a healthy respect for the work of her predecessors, but is even more committed to breaking down musical barriers – touching on pop, soul, folk and more - but always seemingly through the eyes of a jazz artist.

(May 8, 2021) There was a time not that long ago when UAC radio featured a generation of artists who consciously blurred the lines between soul, funk and jazz. They grabbed elements of the latter, smoothing it out with accessible melodies that hit the spot for adult soul fans who felt abandoned when urban radio made the hard turn toward hip-hop. Artists like Sade, Incognito and Michael Franks rightly gathered sizeable audiences for their exquisite, jazz-influenced arrangements combined with R&B’s sense of the hook.

Michigan-based pianist and singer Hannah Baiardi is a next generation performer who comes from that now rare mold. Like her contemporary Kandace Springs, Baiardi has a healthy respect for the work of her predecessors, but is even more committed to breaking down musical barriers – touching on pop, soul, folk and more - but always seemingly through the eyes of a jazz artist.

Baiardi’s new album, Straight From the Soul, is her latest statement, a tasty set of originals and interpretations of classics. We are particularly digging her single “Distant Land,” a number with strong jazz sensibilities – check out the cool interplay between piano and saxophone – but with R&B’s sense of the groove. Recalling Basia’s strongest work, “Distant Land” is the kind of song that would have been a sure hit on The Wave radio in the 90s, and we think will find a welcoming audience among SoulTrackers today.

Check out “Distant Land,” and welcome Hannah Baiardi to SoulTracks.

By Chris Rizik

Hannah Baiardi – “Distant Land”

 

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