A rich, delicious blend of ten fiery tunes including ‘Eg’ White’s “Leave Right Now” and Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood”
Nothing wakes up food like hot sauce – and nothing will wake up your ears like Jessy J’s new album. A special blend of ten fiery tunes, this Hot Sauce is seasoned with authentic Latin zing and packed with real jazz flavor.
Set for release on September 6, 2011, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, the accomplished saxophonist/singer/composer’s third album spotlights her collaborations with some of today’s most prominent contemporary jazz musicians, including guitarists Paul Brown and Ray Parker Jr, keyboardists Joe Sample and Gregg Karukas, and drummer Harvey Mason of Fourplay. Hot Sauce showcases eight originals – from mild to wild – along with adventurous new arrangements of Francis Anthony ‘Eg’ White’s pop hit “Leave Right Now” and Duke Ellington’s jazz classic “In a Sentimental Mood.”
Jessy returns to the studio with mentor and GRAMMY®-winning hitmaker Paul Brown, who produced her acclaimed 2009 release, True Love. In addition to handling production duties, Brown co-writes and performs on the album. “I first met Paul in 2006, and we have a strong friendship,” says Jessy. “Paul brings the best out in me. Our collaborations are highly productive, and they always sound amazing.”
Drawing on a wealth of influences, Hot Sauce combines jazz with Latin rhythms and spotlights Jessy’s stylish vocals and lush, sultry saxophone playing. “My previous recording, True Love, was an instrumental pop album,” she says. “This time I had a chance to work with some legendary musicians, and I believe I was able to show my growth as an artist.”
“Remember the Night” kicks off the album with its seductive melody floating over a softly percolating beat. “I’ve always loved the music of D’Angelo (the neo soul singer, songwriter and record producer), and he inspired me to try something with an after party or club vibe. I wanted this track to sound like a late night jam session. That’s why I call it ‘Remember the Night.’”
Jessy also embraces her Latin heritage on her new album. The mellow ballad “Rio Grande” displays the best of this seductive and alluring style. “My mom is from Texas, and my dad is from Sinaloa, Mexico,” she says. “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.”
The title track, “Hot Sauce,” embodies the essence of the project. “This album is all about contrasts,” says Jessy. “That’s why I titled it Hot Sauce, the jazz elements are cool, but the Latin flavors are really hot. Although I’m from a new generation, I really enjoy working with the great ‘old-school’ musicians and totally respect the straight ahead jazz tradition.”
“Rainbow Gold” is an all-star session featuring keyboard legend Joe Sample, his son Nick on bass, Ray Parker Jr on guitar and Harvey Mason, from the contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay, on drums. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Joe Sample and the Crusaders,” Jessy says. “We first met at the KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival in 2008 when we had a chance to perform one of his songs together. I felt a musical connection right away, and we kept in touch. I finally had the opportunity to work him on two tracks on this album.”
The lush orchestration and romantic innocence of “We Kissed” captures a classic Brazilian mood. “We recorded this as a Stan Getz tribute,” Jessy explains. “I originally approached it as an instrumental track and was thinking specifically of his airy, vintage sound. In fact, I have two saxophones, and the serial number on one my Selmer horns is very close to the number on Stan Getz’ horn. Later, Paul wrote the lyrics.”
The album’s insistent closer, “Last Night,” is another top-shelf jam, highlighting the work of Joe Sample on Hammond B3 and piano. “The recording with Joe was all done in just one take,” says Jessy. “We had to edit because the track was originally almost 15 minutes long – there was so much juicy material that we just couldn’t stop.”
More than just another pretty face, Jessy J worked diligently to achieve recognition for her finely honed chops, songwriting skills and a strong sense of originality. Jessy was born in Portland, Oregon, she’s played the saxophone for over 20 years. An accomplished singer and dancer, she sang background vocals for Michael Bolton, played with the Henry Mancini Jazz Orchestra and performed in the off-Broadway production of Blast! She’s also done studio work with Michael Bublé, Seal, the Temptations, Jessica Simpson, Michael Bolton and Mexico’s pop diva Gloria Trevi.
Tequila Moon, Jessy’s auspicious debut on Peak Records, a division of Concord Music Group, was released in March 2008, and the title track hit #1 on Billboard’s jazz chart. She was named Radio & Records’ Debut Artist of the Year and received the Contemporary Jazz Song of the Year Award from R&R and Billboard. She was featured on the May 2008 cover of Jazziz and graced the covers of Saxophone Journal in October 2009 and Latina Style in February 2010.
The hit “Tropical Rain,” from her 2009 release, True Love, reached the #1 spot on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown, as well as the R&R and Billboard jazz charts. In September 2010, Jessy was selected by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for their prestigious ASCAPLUS writing award.
Jessy’s success is the product of a lot of hard work and a never ending focus on accomplishing her goals. “I still practice every day,” she says. “I love to play music because my spirit feels at peace. I dreamed of playing music as a child and now music is my life.”