July 10, 2024

Multi-instrumentalistTia Fuller takes several DECISIVE STEPS on her second offering for Mack Avenue Records. From the start, the compositions included on the recording offer Fuller more than enough room to stretch out on alto and soprano saxes as well as on the flute with her special guests/ label mates bassist Christian McBrideand trumpeter Sean Jones. Vibraphonist Warren Wolf also shares in the bliss and contributes his dynamic musicality on “Shades of McBride,” and “Clear Mind.”

In addition to these world-class artists, Fuller shares the spotlight with drummer Kim Thompson and bassist Miriam Sullivan, as well as with her sister Shamie Royston who plays piano and Fender. Fuller’s chops are no joke. Her emotionally charged riffs fill the room on the title track and it’s apparent that these “Decisive Steps” have taken her to new heights in the jazz community and will move her forward in the pantheon of serious female woodwind players. With serious being the key word here, Tia Fuller plays an inspired set that traces a lineage through blues, gospel and soul.

Her efforts co-exist with daring riffs from Sean Jones’ trumpet and McBride’s walking bass lines – revealing a hot-blooded extroverted brand of playing that is sure to dazzle you. Overall, Tia Fuller’s performances have the advantage and with DECISIVE STEPS, her style of playing may become a decisive influence and a source of inspiration for today’s and future woodwind players.

Top pick: “Shades of McBride” which features her cool chops on both soprano and alto and a very cool solo from McBride!

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