The multifaceted rock band known as JaCee and the Jags have released their latest LP album, “Moon Kiss Sun.” Comprising eight original tracks for an approximate total listening time of over half an hour, the full-length collection represents a round JaCee experience for listeners not yet acquainted. Kaleidoscopic, remarkably written and bearing studio production rivaling the best work of Phil Spector, “Moon Kiss Sun” is the latest reason audiophiles should be paying very close attention to this versatile crew from Massachusetts.
Bandleader JaCee has cited various inspirations for his music. These have particularly included Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Henry Mancini, and the Beatles. For “Moon Kiss Sun” especially, JaCee has emphasized the influences of Kinks leader Ray Davies, French accordionist Francis Lai, ’60s rock, and the best of pop music in general.
Leading the series of new songs for JaCee’s 2014-2015 year is title track “Moon Kiss Sun.” A calypso-styled single which trades the pinging and panging of steel drums for the patter of congas, “Moon Kiss Sun” marries the traditional Caribbean sound to go-go guitar tones for a groovy rock result that could only have come from one of the most unpredictable songwriters of the modern era.
Speaking of the genesis of “Moon Kiss Sun,” JaCee writes, “’Moon Kiss Sun’ is a calypso song and has a happy island feel. The song was composed imagining myself as an old Jamaican fisherman on the beach, singing and fixing nets. The fisherman praises the sun and moon and dreams the moon is his lover and that he is the sun, itself.”
The LP, which JaCee of JaCee and the Jags affectionately refers to as “MKS” for short, largely revolves around the chord progressions of that initial title track. It was the seed that sprouted the tree in all its sonic splendor.
“You see, I bought a new acoustic guitar,” JaCee writes, “(a Greg Bennett design D-5CE) and I wanted to show off the way the strings ring. That’s how ‘MKS’ got started. From there the calypso theme emerged and other variations – the ‘Is This Luv?’ song, for example.”
This is not the first time JaCee and the Jags have fully explored the character of one or more singles, however. Their debut “Risky Luv” LP utilized this method of songwriting, too.
“My hope is listeners will enjoy hearing JaCee’s song variations,” writes the bandleader. “For me it’s the same as an artist with canvas offering up a thematic series of pictures, etc.”
JaCee and the Jags are a moving, changing crew of collaborators. This 2015 incarnation of the Jags includes Smokin’ Squibb on sax and keys, and Tips Shoemaker on keys and trumpet, both of whom return from their sparkling performances on last year’s “Risky Luv” LP.
“Moon Kiss Sun” from JaCee and the Jags is available online worldwide. Get in early, calypso, jazz and ’60s-pop fans.
[Edit: JaCee and the Jags’ “Listen to me girl” on “Moon Kiss Sun” is a cover of a Smithereens’ song by Patrick DiNizio.]
Lead Press Release Writer
“Moon Kiss Sun” from JaCee and the Jags –
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