With a sterling suite of original songs, a magical tenor voice, and an incandescent vulnerability, Jay Jacobson reveals himself as a striking craftsman with his CD debut, “Infinite Man”. Foremost, Jacobson avows, are his words. “I followed a lyrical path that led me past fear --that’s what my songs are about.”
Originally from Philadelphia, Jay grew up with a diverse slate of musical influences. Jazz and classical music, courtesy of his father, and his mother’s show tunes made considerable impact. “I was raised on Frank Sinatra, show music and Burt Bacharach,” he adds, “but Joan Armatrading, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell -- they spoke to me.” At Temple University, he first encountered world music, an influence that would later color his songwriting template.
It has been a circuitous route to this musical reality. In Los Angeles, Jay became an actor with a solid reputation for playing character roles, inventing the personalities of others. Through songwriting, he discovered the ability to speak with his own voice “The lyrics were something that needed to be expressed,” he confirms. “I don’t know what made me do it. I went into a coffee shop and started writing.” Simple, conversational, profound: Jay’s art was channeled onto paper.
To distill these early efforts into songs, he began collaborating with accomplished Spanish producer/arranger Manuel Iman to create a vibrant musical spectrum incorporating bright shades of pop, pulsing dance and sensuous flamenco; arrangements to frame the purity of his voice, and underscore the honesty in his lyrics.
From the reminiscences of the tender teenager he recalls in “Finest Friend,” to the humorously scathing rebuttal of theatrical typecasting in “No,” Jay’s true life experiences enrich his songs; bittersweet resignation underscores “If Only I Could Save You” while buoyant hope blossoms
into extended dance grooves on “Marry Me.” The selections for Infinite Man were culled from a burgeoning catalog of over 70 contenders. “I write very quickly,” confirms the prolific songsmith.
The characters and scenarios portrayed in Jay’s songs exist on a human plane with an emotional resonance both specific and universal. And anyone who has ever tried to conform to other people’s expectations will know the theme of Jay Jacobson’s musical litany: that one only ever needs to be true to himself. “This has been an awakening for me. Songs are a reflection of my accomplishments as a person. Who I am is enough, and who I am is all I really need to express.”
- Dan Kimpel, Music Connection Magazine