May 27, 2015
In keeping with her knack for offering mesmerizing, sexy, white-hot albums with that Latin jazz flair, a bit of blues, pop, and anything else that will fit into her marvelous style, saxtress Jessy J is at it again with her latest release My One and Only One. Packed with boredom-resistant flair and mucho fuego, this album springs to life the moment you press “play.”
Incorporating great covers of tunes by The Cure, Toni Braxton, and The Brothers Johnson with scorching originals co-written with guitarist/producer/composer Paul Brown, — and also joined by the mega-talented keyboardist Gregg Karukas — the attractive Latina displays her charming way of making jazz runs and Latin melodies the center of your musical life at the time you’re listening to her. There’s no escaping the appeal; so, just surrender and dig in for a sexy, seductive ride through Jessy’s world.
This project hits “can’t miss” status right from the lazy, bluesy Latin opener “Una Mas,” offers a rivetingly beautiful take on “Lovesong,” and takes us inside the world of “The Tango Boy” who seduces every woman he can find on the dance floor without prejudice or commitment. To partly quote Jessy, “The young man wants to have a good time, dancing with as many girls as possible.” When you hear the track, any questions will erased from your mind’s eye as you envision this guy turning and swirling one girl then moving to the next…all the while grinning like a Cheshire cat as he absorbs the rhythm and the moment. Yeah, you’ll see, hear, and feel that. Loving life and music.
Toni Braxton’s “You’re Makin’ Me High” gets a very tasteful nod from the saxtress with Brown providing some blues licks reminiscent of the late great B.B. King. How fitting. All of this obviously does the tune great justice.
I cannot end this review without noting Jessy’s superior work on the Brothers Johnson tune “Strawberry Letter 23” (what a timely tribute) and a tune inspired by her recent trip to Cuba. Listen to “Paraiso Magico,” and you’ll hear why the latter is so compelling. Exotic and truly magical. In fact, that can be said about this saxtress’ entire discography. – Ronald Jackson