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Jazz Saxophonist Mindi Abair Explores Early Musical Influences on <i>Come As You Are</i>

Last year, jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair made the all-important transition from band member to bandleader when she released her debut album to critical acclaim. Almost as important is her follow-up album, which could send this rising star to greater heights. Mindi Abair has nothing to worry about. Her new release is another winner.

After a hectic year of concert tours, interviews, photo shoots and guest appearances on television and radio, Mindi Abair hasn't even had time to think about slowing down. In fact, if you ask Mindi she'll probably tell you that she's just getting started.

Mindi Abair is no stranger to music. A native Floridian, she began playing keyboards at age five, and saxophone at age eight. Later, after graduating from the Berklee College of Music with a degree in woodwind performance, she moved to Los Angeles, and started a band. It wasn't long before Mindi was singled out to join the touring groups for Jonathan Butler, Duran Duran and Mandy Moore. One of her crowning achievements was performing with the Backstreet Boys on their sold-out "Millenium" tour in 2000.

Mindi signed with GRP Records, and recorded one of the top-selling jazz albums of 2003, It Just Happens That Way. While touring in support of the album, she was already brainstorming her next one, Come As You Are.

According to Mindi, she took a different turn by exploring her early musical influences, and writing a collection of songs that reflected her whirlwind life over the past year. And, she spent more time on her other passion, singing.

Mindi Abair sings on three tracks from her new album Come As You Are, including the self-penned "Every Time."

Not one to stay in any one place for too long, Mindi recently embarked on Peter White's Christmas tour across the United States, featuring smooth jazz guitarist Peter White and trumpeter Rick Braun.