The African-American jazz singer, songwriter, arranger and producer Sidney Jacobs is completely unknown to me. However, he is the newest member of the legendary group The 5th Dimension.

Born in LA, Jacobs writes songs with elements of bop, R&B, swing, soul, sound experiments and the Great American Songbook. His 2017 debut album, ‘First Man’, was critically acclaimed.

The concept for this new album came about through one of his live performances. He then chose to perform a Nnenna Freelon arrangement of the song 'I Feel Pretty' from West Side Story. The audience loved it, and his wife then gave him the idea to record an entire album of female-oriented songs.

On this album he is assisted by: Gene Coye (drums), Solomon Dorsey (electric & acoustic bass), Josh Johnson (alto sax & flute), Chris Lawrence (trumpet), Josh Nelson (piano & keyboards), Greg Poree (acoustic guitar ), Nolan Shaheed (trumpet & braces), Joakim Toftgard (trombone), Rickey Woodard (tenor sax), and Munyungo Jackson (percussion). Jacobs himself sang everything in, and played keyboards and percussion. The musical director of The 5th Dimension, Ron Feuer co-produced the album and plays additional keyboards.

The short intro 'We All...' opens with a kind of Thai chanting in different layers, which Jacobs heard when he was traveling there. 'On a Clear Day' is of course a cover of a jazz standard, after which 'Facts' by R&B singer H.E.R. follows. On 'Weave the Tale' Jacobs actually scats on a background of bebop, and 'Stay Up' is a short interlude.

Corinne Bailey Rae's sensitive neo-soul ballad 'Like a Star' is the next cover, after which 'Know' forms another short intermezzo. 'I Feel Pretty' is the song that started this all, and of course also a swinging cover. And on 'I'm Coming Back' by Gary Taylor & Lalah Hathaway, he again goes in the neo-soul direction.

'Until You Come Back to Me' is a soul classic by Aretha Franklin, followed by the short 'Human Typography'. My idol Anita Baker is also here with a cover of her 'Been So Long', after which 'Light' was inspired by his late mother, to whom this album is dedicated. 'A Little Bit' again forms a short intermezzo, followed by the title track, known from the Motown group Gladys Knight & The Pips. 'Conversations with Mom' is a short closing, interspersed with spoken sentences.

Jacobs thus brings here a mixture of jazz, soul, standards, etc., giving a new dimension to the concept of “female songs”.



Sidney Jacobs


1.We All
2. On a Clear Day
3. Facts
4. Weave the Tale
5. Stay Up
6. Like a Star
7. Know
8. I Feel Pretty
9. I’m Coming Back
10. Until You Come Back to Me
11. Human Typography
12. Been So Long
13. Light
14. A Little Bit
15. If I Were Your Woman
16. Conversations with Mom