There's something undeniably seductive about jazz music - its glamour, sexuality and earnest, soulful roots all appeal to a comfortable, old-fashioned musical sensibility. Yet singer/songwriter Rosey is one of the select few who sees one step beyond the classic image and recognizes the genre as an entirely fresh form of pop music. A longtime jazz lover who began her eclectic career as a rock n' soul siren on Island/Def Jam, Rosey is unique in her ability to find the delicate balance between both eras on 'The Luckiest Girl,' her smoky, sensual, self-produced Quango debut.
Since we last heard from Rosey on that aforementioned 2002 freshman effort, her remarkable career has indeed taken many exciting twists and turns throughout several unconventional musical associations. Following instant national attention from her single "Love" landing on the Bridget Jones's Diary soundtrack and "The Afterlife" scoring a slot in the Farrelly Brothers' Shallow Hal, the tunesmith toured with the lauded likes of Melissa Etheridge and Morcheeba. Outside of her own interests, she's also teamed up as a co-writer on many occasions, from hit maker Kelis to a number of burgeoning artists (with whom she doubles as a mentor) to writing jingles for commercials.
"I always dreamed of making timeless music, plus people have always told me my voice was well-suited to jazz and that I should try it," she shares. "So I hooked up with [longtime friend and legendary session player] Hugh McCracken to record a bunch of standards. A few days into those sessions, we starting writing a song I called 'The Old Fashioned Way,' which really set the pace for the record. With everybody and their mom putting out a standards album, I knew I had to go full steam and write my own jazzy repertoire. I am a songwriter after all, so it just made more sense to me to do it that way. I do enjoy a good challenge, and musically, this one was massive. "
With that, the idea of a covers collection was scrapped in favor of an entirely original collection that simultaneously tips its hat to Rosey's heroes of yesteryear (which include Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James), wrapped around an undeniably contemporary appeal. In perfectly balancing those delicate degrees, the project is poised to please longtime fans of the genre, while exposing the seductive sounds to Rosey's pre-existing fan base and possibly even an entirely new generation.
"It's so daunting as a young person to follow behind all these greats that I had no choice but to create something different," she ponders. "Who am I to record a song Billie made famous? I could never compete with that and I don't want to. I hooked up with a few friends in Brooklyn, like John Chin and Mark Bordenet, who taught me a lot about the rules for writing jazz, but also how to break them. What I came up with was my own Rosey spin on the genre- always throwing in a touch of the blues for fun. We also recorded the record live to tape to give it that old, warm, silky sound."