Jessy J - Review


Monday, January 4th, 2010 7:48 PM
Smooth Jazz Therapy
The very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

Jessy J l True Love

True Love

"‘True Love’ is already well on the way to emulating the success of ‘Tequila Moon’."

"It opens with the handsome smooth jazz vibes of ‘Tropical Rain’ that has already captured top spot on the Groove Jazz chart of most played on contemporary jazz radio. This recognition is a mark of the buzz that surrounds most everything that Jessy J now does"

"she evokes the cool essence of Astrud Gilberto"


When in 2008 sax player Jessica Spinella, aka Jessy J, released her debut CD ‘Tequila Moon’ a range of factors combined to make it one of the most hyped events of the year. Produced by Paul Brown, who also provided a significant writing input, the album merged smooth jazz with Latin sensibilities in a way that had rarely been done before. When her good, some would say stunning, looks are taken into consideration it is hardly surprising that within the genre the project quickly elevated her to star status. Now little more than a year later she is back with her sophomore effort ‘True Love’. It moves Jessy J closer yet to her Latin heritage while again drawing heavily on Paul Brown’s talents as a writer, producer and performer. With stellar contributions from bass player Roberto Vally, keyboard maestro Gregg Karukas and drummer Sergio Gonzalez, ‘True Love’ is already well on the way to emulating the success of ‘Tequila Moon’.

Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Hemet, CA, Jessy J draws musical inspiration from her Mexican-American heritage. Her Mexican born father and mother filled the family home with festive, live Latin music and on graduating from USC with a degree in jazz studies (where she was named “Most Outstanding Jazz Student” of her class) she enjoyed instant success as a session player. In 2005-06 Jessy toured with both The Temptations and Jessica Simpson but when she decided to focus her talents on contemporary jazz, she immediately knew she wanted to work with Paul Brown. Although he liked the straight-ahead jazz oriented demo that she sent to him he was not disposed to change his normal rule of only working with signed artists. However, Jessy’s persistence eventually paid off and Brown invited her to his studio to work on a few tracks. The rest as they say is history and, in a solo career that has developed at a pace ever since, ‘True Love’ is the next enticing chapter.

It opens with the handsome smooth jazz vibes of ‘Tropical Rain’ that has already captured top spot on the Groove Jazz chart of most played on contemporary jazz radio. This recognition is a mark of the buzz that surrounds most everything that Jessy J now does and her understated tribute to the music of Prince, which here comes courtesy of ‘Mr Prince’, proves to be another sumptuous slice of sax driven smooth jazz. Her playing on tenor sax and flute is at its smooth best for the freewheeling and soulful ‘Jessy’s Blues’ while much the same can be said of the sultry ‘Forever’ that includes some attractive splashes of guitar from Tommy Kay.

The ultra smooth title cut brings with it an engaging yet controlled Latin swagger and in similar mode is ‘Somewhere In A Dream’ which owes much to an excellent guitar solo from Paul Brown. As comforting as a warm blanket, it merely delays the onset of carnival time which, when it finally arrives, comes in the form of the zesty Paul Brown " Jessy J composition ‘Baila!’. It’s a tune that benefits from a chorus that is seriously infectious and when Jessy J switches to vocals for the delicate ‘Morning Of The Carnival’ she evokes the cool essence of Astrud Gilberto. The song originally comes from the 1959 Portuguese language film Orfeu Negro and Jessy’s treatment of it, on tenor sax, flute and vocals, is really something special. She is back on vocals for the richly percussive and sunshine filled ‘Llegaste Tu’ that she co-writes with Pablo and Pauline Aguirre whilst the mood stays delightfully Latin right until the end with the low key yet elegant ‘Brazilian Dance’.

Out on Peak Records in the USA and due for release in the United Kingdom on September 28 ‘True Love’ confirms that Jessy J has claimed a unique position in the welcoming hinterland that lays somewhere between smooth and Latin jazz.

For more go to www.jessyj.com

September 18, 2009 in CD Reviews | Permalink