Jessy J – My One & Only One (Shanachie Entertainment) review
My One & Only One is hands-down the best album of Jessy J’s career.
While the saxophonist is known for stretching the boundaries of Smooth Jazz to include Latin and Pop-infused elements, it’s not always made for a cohesive listening experience. Here, with her fifth record, the blend is perfect. The end result is an album that works great as both chill-out music and the soundtrack to your next party.
Her phrasing has become an incredible strength – I hear echoes of Grover Washington in the lead off track, “Una Mas,” while who would’ve thought the Cure’s “Lovesong” could’ve been retooled with with so much sexual tension – even outdoing Adele in that department.
The disc has excellent pacing – beginning with more traditional jazz numbers, which give way to several Latin tracks, including the album’s first single, “The Tango Boy,” which features some tasty guitar licks from guest Paul Brown. “Paraiso Magico” allows Jessy to show off her prowess on the flute, while “Back to The Basics” has an upbeat, Cuban groove.
Two excellent cover songs spotlight the album’s second half – Toni Braxton’s “You’re Makin’ Me High” is pure soul, while the Brothers Johnson’s “Strawberry Letter #23” gets a funky, spirited treatment.
With a variety of styles and tempos, My One & Only One makes for a great listen from start to finish, and should certainly be in the running for Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2015. —Tony Peters