Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jessy J Second Chances Shanachie 2013

Second Chances

Second Chances is predictable, dated, and simply not deserving of a second spin much less a second chance.
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com

So before the half dozen or so Jessy J fans show up at my front door with pitchforks and flaming torches let me say one thing, Jessy J is an accomplished saxophonist. The previous Jessy J recording Hot Sauce on the Concord label was rich and full of texture, smooth jazz finding a melodic path that was adventurous and at times captivating.

Second Chance is a complete reversal of fortune. Don't get me wrong as there are some bright spots including the opening number with Jeff Lorber, "Listen 2 The Groove." Norman Brown makes a cameo on the second track, "Second Chances." With the other exception being the Jeff Lorber / Jimmy Haslip collaboration on "Double Trouble" the release begins to crash and burn quickly with the reharm of the old R&B classic "Feel Like Makin Love." Again, Jessy J is an accomplished player but her vocals are only "passable" and that simply does not cut it over the long haul. The vocals are thin and somewhat anemic and add little if anything to the mix. While the production itself is tight, the end result is perhaps everything that is wrong with what is left of the smooth jazz genre. The cover art is dated, the sound is dated, and the lingering after taste is simply forgettable.

So is it bad? No...It is the same tired predictable played out sound that ran smooth jazz off the radio and into the living rooms of those still clinging to their leisure suits from the forgotten days of disco. Easy listening for those that can't deal with turning forty something. Smooth jazz fans looking for ear candy probably won't linger long here as you can pretty much get everything off the first spin. Background music for a boutique maybe, serious contemporary instrumental music? No...not even close.

3 Stars...Average on a good day.

Tracks: Listen 2 The Groove; Second Chances; Feel Like Makin' Love; Double Trouble; Magalenha; Tango For Two; Dos; La Luna Feliz; Double Trouble; Mambo Gumbo; Twice.