Jesse Dee: Bittesweet Batch

By: Bill Clifford

Bittersweet Batch is the solo debut CD from up and coming Boston-based blue-eyed-soul singer-songwriter Jesse Dee. Dee has built his foundation on the cornerstones of the soul music tradition, namely Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, but his style is more akin to modern soul singers such as John Legend, Amos Lee, Marc Broussard and Ryan Montbleau Band.

Opener "Alright" harkens back to the classic Stax Records days, with a triple blast of horns, tenor and baritone saxophone and trumpet, mixed with swirling Farfisa. It's an upbeat, groovy ditty that's impossible to listen to and not tap your feet in rhythm, and a lyrically encouraging reminder that despite the monotony of every day life, as long as the loving couple has each other it's going to be "Alright." With a much more jazzy horn line backing Dee's acoustic strums, "Slow Down" is the chosen single. Several songs slow down in tempo and mellow the mood, including "Over & Over Again," a bluesy break up ballad, and "Remember Me," an acoustic guitar and piano tearjerker that highlights Dee's warm, tenor vocals, underscored with eloquent strings.

"My Two Feet" is a New Orleans style boogie jam, built on muted trumpet and rollicking piano, about waking to face the day only to find one's car engine won’t start. Drenched in rich swells of organ, churning electric guitar and rhythmic drums, "Yet To Come" is a gorgeous, soulful ode to a lover that deserves to be heard by millions. "Alive and Kickin'" is an upbeat rocker with wailing electric guitar woven into Dee's sanctified vocals and a backing chorus.

Dee's got a breathy, bellowing tenor that doesn't stretch to reach the high register. Though his voice has a slight nasal twang, it won’t scare listeners away, and Jesse Dee's Bittersweet Batch is anything but.

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[Published on: 12/25/08]

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guerilladubber Mon 1/5/2009 08:46PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


let's face it... jessie Dee rocks...

TraderDan (djc) starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/13/2009 10:24AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

TraderDan (djc)

Jesse is definitely the man, whether people realize this yet or not. Give this album a little time to seep in and penetrate the masses, and the rest will likely speak for itself.

For those anywhere near providence, be sure to catch Jesse Dee with the Nate Wilson Group this Friday at Century Lounge. ( Two great, very different styles of music in one place.....

daveycooks Thu 2/12/2009 01:24PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Bill, your review is balls on. Alright, Alive and Kickin', and Remember me, are some of the great ones. But you forgot the best track on the CD, Around Here.

Jesse is destined for greatness. I only thing better than this CD is seeing the man live. His live performances will leave you wanting more and upset when they're over. To say this guy rocks, really doesn't do him justice.