Feb 13, 2010
Smooth Jazz saxophonist Jessy J hit the scene last year, and made a mark on this listener with her debut CD Tequila Moon. Heavily influenced by producer Paul Brown, the CD was a cut above most contemporary jazz releases, as she showed her delightful mix of Latin and smooth sounds, with covers of classics like “Mas Que Nada” and “Besame Mucho” interspersed with originals like the title track. Heavily influenced by producer Paul Brown, the sound is never saccharine, and always interesting.
Her follow-up, True Love, allows her to take the next step in her development. With only one cover (the famous “Manha de Carnaval”), the CD is composed her writing in collaboration with Brown and others. The backing band - keyboardist Gregg Karukas, bassist Roberto Vally, drummer Sergio Gonzalez and percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia - continue to grow and stretch out a bit. The romance is still very much there, making this an excellent choice for your Valentine.
I spoke with Jessy as she began a busy week of Valentine’s Day concerts, so click here to listen to the interview, with tracks from her two albums including:
Jessy J – Title track from True Love. Spanish guitar by Paul Brown kicks off the number, and then the band kicks into a shuffling beat that would do Sade proud, allowing Jessy room to stretch out once she sets the melody. A strong keyboard solo by Gregg Karukas helps bring it home.
Jessy J – “Tropical Rain” from True Love. The first single from the new CD, this is the prototypical Jessy J sound – a lilting Latin beat, setting off her sax solo.
Jessy J – “Spanish Nights” from Tequila Moon. One of the standout tracks on her debut CD, it’s written by keyboardist Donald Hayes, who contributed the drum programming as well. Jessy shines on tenor sax, with Ricky Peterson on piano, Paul Brown on guitar and percussion by Richie Gajate Garcia.