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Jessy J — Hot Sauce

Aug. 27, 2011

Hot Sauce. Could any music project be more appropriately named?  Young, beautiful, personable, and mega-talented saxophonist Jessy J is not only running true to form on her latest release, but she’s gone to another plateau with this one. While Tequila Moon, her tantalizing debut, and her sweet True Love follow-up were both more than enough to establish her as a comely force in this male-dominated genre, the lady has knocked it clean out of the park with this offering, her best to date in my opinion.

Playing convincingly with her signature Latin spice and good ol’ jazz fire has always excited those who’ve lent their ears to her project.  As she says, “My mom is from Texas, and my dad is from Sinaloa, Mexico. I’m really proud to be a Latina role model. It’s such a rich culture, and I have an affinity to music from both sides of the border.”

On this album, due for release on Sept. 6, one cannot help being riveted to the exoticism, the soul, and the sweetest of sweet melodies as she lays down these 10 tracks, eight of which are originals.  To ensure that enough hot sauce was used on this project, she’s even collaborated with such luminaries as Paul Brown (who was by her side as producer on the True Love project, as well), Joe Sample, Gregg Karukas, Ray Parker Jr., and Harvey Mason. With a lineup like that, can you say Grand Slam Home Run?

The tunes, all as rhythmic and infectious as you’d expect from Ms. J, are full-bodied, energetic, and well-conceived. From the swaying lead track (performed with Paul Brown) to the Latin-tight title track to the alluring, compelling “Till You Make Up Your Mind” with its beautiful melody and phrasing to the saucy and compelling “Meant to Be” to the lazy and sexy Brazilian-kissed “We Kissed,” (with the saxtress on vocals) all the way to the sassy finale featuring Joe Sample and Ray Parker Jr., Jessy J has again proven why she’s here to stay as she just empties that bottle of Hot Sauce all over this charmer. – Ronald Jackson