A mutual friend played me the silky, raw strands of a couple Tobias Jesso Jr. tracks sometime last year, saying "just listen." The way I felt when I heard Jesso's music was rare but not unfamiliar. It was the same way I felt when I heard Arthur Russell for the first time: suddenly speechless, certain I had heard that melody, that voice once a long, long time ago. But I hadn't, and Arthur Russell may be gone but Jesso is here and he has a similar knack for tapping into the sweet, preternatural tunes that make you feel primal things. The prodigious piano player with a classic voice recently performed a sweet, two-song set for La Blogothèque at Cantor's Deli. His voice rings out across the low din of the restaurant, searing and clear.
September 10, 2014