First Listen: Mariea Antoinette provides us with a funky “Overture”

First Listen:  Mariea Antoinette provides us with a funky “Overture”

(February 23, 2018) In the overall picture of contemporary jazz, the lead instruments that usually take center stage are the guitar, keyboards and horns.  Yet as jazz focuses on adlibs that enhances the mood beyond the choruses and hooks, other instruments should not be overlooked -- particularly when the musician’s skill set matches their fundamental knowledge.  Take for instance one of jazz’s greatest harpists, Alice Coltraine, with her astounding ability in stretching the instrument into orchestral territory. 

First Listen:  Mariea Antoinette provides us with a funky “Overture”

(February 23, 2018) In the overall picture of contemporary jazz, the lead instruments that usually take center stage are the guitar, keyboards and horns.  Yet as jazz focuses on adlibs that enhances the mood beyond the choruses and hooks, other instruments should not be overlooked -- particularly when the musician’s skill set matches their fundamental knowledge.  Take for instance one of jazz’s greatest harpists, Alice Coltraine, with her astounding ability in stretching the instrument into orchestral territory. 

Representing the contemporary jazz market, Mariea Antoinette has developed a solid following since her debut, Sexy Paradise, in 2003, produced by Carl Evans Jr., an alumni from the jazz-funk outfit Fattburger, and the 2015 release, Straight From The Harp, which landed on the Billboard Top 5 Smooth Jazz Charts.  The San Diego native also plays a vital role in the all-female ensemble Jazz in Pink, which provided backgrounds for Ne-Yo at the BET Awards and performed at the International Day of Jazz in Cameroon, West Africa.

In the mastering of the instrument’s natural beauty with a strong sense of melody, Antoinette’s harp translates in any urban avenue, whether R&B, jazz or reggae.  While her latest CD is due later this year, Antoinette now delivers her latest single, “Overture,” featuring a string and horn section driven by old school in the pocket grooves by Grammy nominated producer and current Fattburger member, Allan Phillips.  And Antoinette carries off the lead role on “Overture” with pure elegance as her energetic harp bounces between R&B and classical lines.   When in confident hands, a lead instrument can set the tone for those appealing moments, just like Antoinette’s graceful “Overture.”

By Peggy Oliver

 

 

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