DC born singer Joslyn Petty was the seventh child in a family of eight, born to singer-parents who met in the 60s while performing in resort lounges. And while Petty was classically trained at a performing arts school, her tastes favored the diverse sounds she heard in her home and neighborhood as a child, and especially classic soul music.
Joslyn's family moved to very non-soulful Salt Lake City when she was a teen, but Joslyn found surprisingly active music scene there and eventually become a popular local session musician. She landed a receptionist job in a local recording studio and there met producer/musicians Craig Poole and Rob Wannamaker, who fell in love with her voice. The trio soon were working together on a project with popular DJ/Club artist Kaskade, with Joslyn handling the vocals on Kaskade's 2005 #1 Club hit "Everything."
Following that success, the three collaborators began working on their own album under the moniker Joslyn feat. So Very. The result of their work is the 2006 release joslyn feat. so very (distributed by Power Music in the US and by Di-Lee Promotions in Europe).
The disc opens with the very tasty Andre Cymone-like dance number "So Cool" and continues with an hour-long exceptional amalgamation of jazz, soul and electronic dance music. There's a cool, jazzy underpinning to much of the disc but with everpresent sense of the groove. Best of all, Petty, Poole and Wannamaker prove themselves to be an exceptional songwriting team, with one strong composition after another on the disc's eleven tracks.
Petty's vocals are strong and confident front-to-back, and Poole and Wannamaker's production is right on. Any of "Used To," "Do Whatcha Gonna Do," the irresistible "Jackie's Playin' Tonight" or the group's great remake of Loose Ends' "Hanging On a String" could be a legitimate radio hits, and just as many cuts could be club favorites.
Like recent releases by Jiva, Reel People, Cooly's Hot Box and Tortured Soul, joslyn feat. so very shows that smart dance music is alive and well in the hands of a new generation of artists who are able to combine eclectic and sometimes disparate elements into a cohesive, engaging sound that works both on the dance floor and on your iPod. Highly recommended.
By Chris Rizik