Tia Fuller: Angelic Warrior

I’ve been meaning to see this lady in concert for a time, as her discs have been impressive but a bit two sided. Usually, half of the material is straightforward and hard swinging jazz, and the other part is a bit of modern R&B. This time around, soprano and alto saxist Tia Fuller pulls no punches and comes out swinging with 12lb gloves. The regular team of Shamie Royston/key, Mimi Jones/b, Rudy Royston/dr and Shirazette Tinnin/perc stings like a bee as Fuller jabs and hooks with her horns on “Royston Rumble”  and the title track. Everyone floats like a butterfly on the gentle “Lil Les” that also includes John Patitucci on bass (as well as on a couple smokers like “Descend to Barbados.”).  Terri Lyne Carrington brings her traps into the ring and goes 12 rounds with Fuller on a feisty “Cherokee,” and Dianne Reeves evokes images of John Garfield and Lilly Palmer on a lovely “Body and Soul.” This is a disc that is a true heavyweight!

Mack Avenue Records


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