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Mindi Abair Lives 'Life Less Ordinary'


Offstage she's Mrs. Mindi Abair-Steele, but onstage fans still know her as jazz sax sensation Mindi Abair. As we hear from VOA's Doug Levine, getting married was just one of several life-changing events that figured into Abair's latest album "Life Less Ordinary."

Life's ups and downs are indeed the stuff great records are made of. For Mindi, the past year has been mostly up. There's the new album, which has even surpassed Mindi's expectations. And, yes, there was her recent marriage to composer Jason Steele.

"Getting married changes a lot of aspects of your life," she said. "For some people it makes them happier and for some people it makes them sadder, angrier or something. For me, it's just been a really cool change of life. It's nice to come home to a great guy every night. He's been nothing but supportive."

Mindi Abair has always had lots of support, especially from her parents. Whether it was banging on the keys of a piano when she was four years old or working in her father's band, music was an around-the-clock endeavor. When it came time to choose an instrument, Mindi decided on the one that brought her father success, the saxophone.

"My dad is a big fan of what I do," she said. "He's funny. I'll show demos and stuff as we're making a record so he'll give his two cents. Sometimes we'll take his two cents and sometimes we don't. So he'll call me from the car, he's done this a few times, [and say] 'You know, the CD is just really great. I can't stop listening to it.'"

"The songs on this CD just started coming out of me, and as I piled up a few of them I just realized each one is kind of a snapshot of a different area of my life," she continued. "So many different things happened this past year, from getting married, and [Hurricane] Katrina, that was 10 times as hard as anything we've been hit by. So I actually wrote a song called 'Rain' and I dedicated it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina."

For Mindi Abair, criss-crossing the country on a whirlwind tour, giving television and radio interviews day and night, and already at work on her next album, life at the moment is anything but ordinary.