Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Jessy J: Super Saxy

Jessy J

Combining song and sex appeal is an age-old attention-grabber in popular music, as even a passing glance at MTV, magazines and Web sites makes clear. When it comes to jazz, Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr. define sexy, but they’re not ripping their shirts off. But when a female jazz artist flashes some skin, a question is posed: Is there a chance of losing credibility due to the genre’s “serious” nature? Fingers may wag, but displaying a sexy side has done nothing to diminish the careers of established female jazz stars like Eliane Elias, Diana Krall, Norah Jones and Jane Monheit. Probably the opposite-it’s a double standard, but a damn successful one.

The latest sexy siren on the scene is Jessy J, a tenor and sometime soprano saxophonist on the smooth side who cites serious jazz influences but is marketed as a glamour girl on her debut CD, Tequila Moon. Her barely-there black dress on the CD’s back cover doesn’t leave much to the imagination. But J, who is in her late 20s, has a quick riposte to those who say her sexy image compromises her musical integrity. “It doesn’t seem to come up with female artists in any other genre. However, putting that aside, as a female musician I believe it’s important to be feminine while allowing the power of my music to be heard.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published