All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

314

Jessy J: Tequila Moon

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
It's hard to imagine Jessy J as one who wanted to play straight-ahead jazz. Yet that was the type of demo she submitted to producer/guitarist Paul Brown, whose style and influence in recorded music is about as far from straight-ahead jazz as one can get. To no surprise, the relationship that developed between Brown and the saxophonist/vocalist has Jessy J fitting comfortably within the smooth jazz format, although her debut, Tequila Moon, has a Latin theme.

Born of Mexican parents in Portland, Oregon, and reared in Hemet, California, Jessy J has deep roots in Latin music. She was a huge fan of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane—a further contradiction of her format-friendly debut—but also loved pop. In addition to Brown, her professional career has had her in recording sessions or on stage with such artists as Michael Bublé, The Temptations and Michael Bolton. She's also forged bonds with saxophonists Mindi Abair and Kirk Whalum.

Tequila Moon features Jessy J with a variable mix of session players, with the greater contributions coming from Brown, percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia, keyboardist Ricky Peterson (who also does string synths) and bassist Roberto Vally. Brown also co-wrote five of the seven original songs. The others were penned by drum programmer Donald Hayes and keyboardist Kiki Ebsen.

The title song sets the mood for the entire package. Its laid-back groove is pleasant, aided by Jessy J's smooth tenor sax lead, underscored by Brown's guitar and Gregg Karukas on keys and string synths. "Sin Ti/Without You" presents an easy-going samba feel, accented by Peterson on keys, Vally's bass line and drummer Oscar Seaton's rim shots. Toward the end, Jessy J shows her chops on tenor.

Jorge Bem's "Mas Que Nada" has been covered many times over. With Jessy J setting aside her sax in order to sing lead, this cover is nicely done but lacks the energy of previous versions, particular one done by Al Jarreau. Still, Jessy's charming voice makes this worth listening to, with drummer Sergio Gonzales helping it with some adept cymbal work.

One of the better showcases for Jessy J's talent as a songwriter and musician is "Fiesta Velada," which she co-wrote with Brown. One major plus is that this straightforward Latin piece lacks the cookie-cutter, smooth jazz production which overpowers most of the songs in this set. Vally, Peterson, Seaton and Garcia complement the leader while Jessy J and her tenor have a party.

Tequila Moon is a nice overall debut for Jessy J. The selections all clock in at less than six minutes, with the majority between three and four. That certainly increases the probability of airplay on smooth jazz, adult contemporary, or even easy listening stations. Unfortunately, the commercialization of this recording dilutes the beauty of Jessy J's performance.

Track Listing: Tequila Moon; Spanish Nights; Sin Ti/Without You; Mas Que Nada; Fiesta Velada; Poetry Man; Turquoise Street; PB ‘n’ J; Besame Mucho; Running Away; Song for You.

Personnel: Jessy J: tenor sax (1-4, 5, 7, 8, 11), vocals (4, 9), flute (5), soprano sax (6, 10); Sergio Gonzales: drums (1, 4); Gregg Karukas: keys (1, 4) string synths (1, 4); Paul Brown: guitar (1-3, 8-11); Richie Gajate Garcia: percussion (1-5, 9); Donald Hayes: bass (2), keys (2), drum programming (2); Ricky Peterson: string synths (2, 3, 5, 9, 10), piano (2, 5, 10), keys (3); Roberto Vally: bass (3-11); Oscar Seaton: drums (3, 5); Kiki Ebsen: keys (6-8), string synths (6-8), piano (11); Dave Beyer: drums (6-8, 11), percussion (6-8); Chad Wright: drums (10); Nino Sanchez: percussion (10).

Title: Tequila Moon | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Peak Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

The Tango Boy

The Tango Boy

Jessy J
My One And Only One

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Second Chances

Second Chances

Shanacie
2013

buy
Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

Heads Up International
2011

buy
True Love

True Love

Peak Records
2009

buy
Tequila Moon

Tequila Moon

Peak Records
2008

buy
My One And Only One

My One And Only One

Shanachie Records
0

buy

View All Events

Create Widget | Open RSS Feed

Date Time Detail Price
Dec21Fri 7:00 pm 7:00 pm
Jessy J
Blue Note Napa
Napa, CA
Dec21Fri 9:00 pm 9:00 pm
Jessy J
Blue Note Napa
Napa, CA
Dec22Sat 7:00 pm 7:00 pm
Jessy J
Blue Note Napa
Napa, CA
Dec22Sat 9:00 pm 9:00 pm
Jessy J
Blue Note Napa
Napa, CA

Related Articles

Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Introverted Cultures CD/LP/Track Review
Introverted Cultures
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Flyway CD/LP/Track Review
Flyway
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Crime Zone CD/LP/Track Review
Crime Zone
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Begin the Agora CD/LP/Track Review
Begin the Agora
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Time Like This CD/LP/Track Review
Time Like This
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2018
Read "The Treasury Shows Vol. 25" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows Vol. 25
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 11, 2018
Read "Bloomer" CD/LP/Track Review Bloomer
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 28, 2018
Read "The Child in Me" CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Live at Big Apple in Kobe" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Big Apple in Kobe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2018
Read "Charlie & Paul" CD/LP/Track Review Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Tensegridad" CD/LP/Track Review Tensegridad
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 29, 2017