Imani Coppola admits that the story behind her forming Little Jackie with multi-instrumentalist Adam Pallin is "really not very exciting at all": ...

Imani Coppola admits that the story behind her forming Little Jackie with multi-instrumentalist Adam Pallin is "really not very exciting at all": She was in the studio last year working on tracks with producer Mike Mangini (who helmed Coppola's 1997 debut, "Chupacabra," with its left-field Billboard Hot 100 hit "Legend of a Cowgirl") when Mangini suggested that she try writing with Pallin, his go-to programming guy. "And that's it," Coppola says with a laugh.

Despite its ho-hum origins, the duo's debut is anything but pedestrian. A high-spirited mash-up of funky hip-hop grooves and swinging Motown melodies, "The Stoop" (due this week from S-Curve) finds Coppola holding forth animatedly about everything from the charm of her Brooklyn neighborhood to partying like a white girl.

Coppola and Pallin (the latter recently worked on "American Idol" alum Elliot Yamin's debut) recorded the album separately, a setup that Pallin says created a juicy juxtaposition "between what the music suggests and what she does lyrically. It probably wouldn't have come together the way it did if we had worked in the same room together."

S-Curve president Steve Greenberg compares Little Jackie to Gnarls Barkley, another off-kilter producer-singer collaboration. Though he points out that Coppola has been steadily releasing records since "Chupacabra" -- last year she made one for former Faith No More frontman Mike Patton's label Ipecac -- Greenberg acknowledges that "to most of the world" Little Jackie will be an unproven act.