JMSN Mod Club, Toronto ON, May 23

JMSN Mod Club, Toronto ON, May 23
Photo: Matt Forsythe

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Ain't nothing like a JMSN dance break. The Los Angeles by way of Detroit singer-songwriter/producer — pronounced Jameson, born Christian Berishaj — doesn't so much dance as he does groove; his long-limbed frame — tonight dressed in a Canadian tuxedo, appropriately enough — swayed to and fro last night (May 23). His sashaying, snaking moves are what he defines as "boogie basics," carefree two-stepping choreography that punctuates his aural statements on R&B, blues and rock.
 
After opening sets from Toronto-based Kristina Alcordo and the lush, dreamy sounds of Quiñ, JMSN took the stage as if it belonged to him.
 
Vocally, he comes off like a rawer, less self-conscious Justin Timberlake; tunefully, he's connected the dots between multiple genres with subtle but solid songwriting skills that demand more industry attention. In front of a full if not packed house, he took us through material off his latest album Whatever Makes U Happy, his fifth studio project. Backed by a three-piece backing band — keys, drums, bass — the guitar-toting artist played newer cuts like "Patiently," "Slide," "Where Do U Go" and "Drinkin'" along with more familiar material ("Street Sweeper," "Addicted" and an extended version of "Cruel Intentions").
 
The free-flowing show allowed for some cool musical back-and-forth interludes between the band — most notably kickass bassist Yuki "Lin" Hayashi — showcasing JMSN's stage presence and musical acumen. Along with the musicality on display, it was the dance breaks that got the folks hyped, and JMSN delivered. Much like the latest album title, JMSN's relaxed and insouciant approach to life and music translates to a single-minded passion about making music first and letting things happen however they may after that. It's working for him thus far.