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Jenifer Jackson

SO HIGH • Jenifer Jackson

Oh, happy day, a new disc from jj. I'm crazy about this woman's music. She hits me high, she hits me low, and she absolutely kills me in the middle. The way she sings makes the most cynical dreamer want to fall in love again, the high risk notwithstanding. Get out the vintage synths and keyboards, vibes and glockenspiel, church bells, bells of every kind, tambourine, cheesy drum machines, many stringed instruments and a handful of amazing musicians. And for God's sake, let Pat Sansone rule, that guy is magic and should be famous. He produced, and played bass, guitar, keyboards, synth strings, and sang backgrounds. Basics were tracked in Nashville at Eli Shaw's place: Sansone on bass, G Wiz on drums, and the ubiquitous Will Kimbrough on guitar, along with the artist on acoustic and vocals.

Most songwriters would kill (or should) for the melodic sense and spirit of this urban angel. She's got beautiful music inside her. More and more I see that not all songwriters have beautiful music inside them. Many have a lot of words and feelings, perhaps some should find a partner for the music or try to write some stories...but the songs of Jenifer Jackson never fail to open my heart and allow a feeling of vulnerable wonder to reappear. No, I don't understand it--but I do feel it, every time, and am again surprised. It's so easy to shut down, little by little, so I'm ever grateful to the artists that crack me back open.

"The Power of Love" opens the disc, and is classic jj, so we'll make it one of the clips on the Listen page, which you must go check out. A couple of tunes I know from previous records receive masterfully novel treatments, "Since You've Been Away" and "Look Down." Even on the advance copy, there were fabulous new photos by Michael Halsband, much obliged.

At this writing, this sensational disc is in search of a label, and publisher extraordinaire Bug Music will hopefully put that matter to bed. We can only hope that it reaches the right ears in the U.S. or Japan, in Europe, Australia or whatever culture is hip enough to make this superb artist into the star we already consider her to be. • FG

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