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Rickie Lee Jones


Country of origin:

U.S

Type of music generally:

Individual blend of folk/pop/rock with blues, jazz, and r&b influences

Status:

Most recent release, The Other Side Of Desire (2015)

See also:

The Official Rickie Lee Jones site

Wikipedia's entry for Rickie Lee Jones

Comparisons:

Joni Mitchell.

Influences include Carole King, Laura Nyro, Tom Waits—I think Suzanne Vega has been influenced by her, among many others. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Mostly own, some co-written and covers

General comments:

Rickie is wonderful, and I'm glad to see someone else out there getting a special warm and fuzzy feeling from her music! (I_SW@zis.ziff.com)

I was introduced to Rickie Lee Jones in high school by a teacher. I dubbed a copy of her debut album from a tape he had dubbed from a record player or something, so it had terrible sound, but I loved (still love) that album. All the different moods. Some really fun songs, some really sentimental. And everything in between. And that's what I still love about her. All the different styles and moods she incorporates into her music, her hard-to-describe voice that is sometimes so sweet and sometimes so harsh. I now have most of her albums now, and I love them all. She's great anytime, but especially on quiet evenings and rainy days. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Comments about live performance:

Rickie Lee's set was rather surprising too. I'm not a big fan, but apparently she played songs spanning her entire career excluding —, the only disc that I have. Kind of odd that she wasn't promoting that, but I guess leading a trio of herself on guitar/piano, an upright bassist, and another guitar/accordion player, didn't lend themselves to the—material. I liked hearing the songs with the heavy piano parts, but was happy when she donned a guitar instead, since she was completely invisible behind the Birchmere's baby grand. Not much of a talker, but a very expressive singer. She brought to mind a lot of other people throughout her show. The weirdest was that her first number really put Lisa Germano in my mind. It had the same twisted phrasing and kind of flat delivery. And she had one song about monks full of sexual imagery that was ripped straight from the Leonard Cohen songbook. The show was incredibly well received, but despite an amazingly long period of screaming, cheering and applauding, she never came back for an encore. Seems like I should check out more of her music sometime. (neal)

Recommended first album:

The Magazine. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

I think Pirates is her best album, but Flying Cowboys may be a more mainstream introduction. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I have to suggest Pirates, her second release. It is as impressive sonically as it is musically. The vocal harmonies rival anything Joni Mitchell has done, especially on "We Belong Together". A most wonderfully crafted album. (JavaHo@aol.com)

Recordings:


Rickie Lee Jones

Release info:

1979—Warner—3296-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion, horn arrangements

Guest artists:

Steve Gadd, Andy Newmark, Jeffrey Porcaro—drums
Mark Stevens—drums, percussion
Victor Feldman—drums, percussion, keyboards
Willie Weeks—fender bass
Red Callender—bass
Buzzy Feiten—guitars
Fred Tackett—guitars, mandolin
Neil Larsen, Randy Kerber, Ralph Grierson, Mac Rebennack—keyboards
Randy Newman, Michael "Bobby" Boddicker—synthesizer
Tom Scott, Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts—horns
Nick DeCaro—accordion, orchestral arrangements on "After Hours," "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963," and "Night Train"
Johnny Mandel—orchestral arrangements on "Coolsville" and "Company"
Arno Lucas, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Matthew Wiener, Michael McDonald—background vocals

Produced by:

Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman

Comments:

A strange and wonderful album. So many different styles. Some slow, contemplative songs like "Company" and "After Hours" and "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963," then some upbeat songs like "Last Chance Texaco" and "Young Blood," bluesy/jazzy songs like "Easy Money," "Coolsville," and "Weasel and the White Boys Cool," and simply fun songs like "Chuck E.'s in Love." An eclectic mix, an engaging debut from a singer who fortunately kept her individualism through her later albums too. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Pirates

Release info:

1981—Warner Bros. Records—3432-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, keyboards, synthesizers

Guest artists:

Chuck Rainey—bass
Steve Gadd—drums on "Pirates" and "We Belong Together," boxes and thighs on "Woody and Dutch"
Art Rodriguez—drums on "Living It Up," "A Lucky Guy," and "Traces of the Western Slopes"
Buzzy Feiten, Dean Parks, Steve Lukather—guitar
David Kalish—guitar on "Woody and Dutch"
Neil Larsen, Russell Ferrante, Clarence McDonald—keyboards
Randy Kerber—keyboards on "Skeletons" and "The Returns"
Lenny Castro, Victor Feldman—percussion
Michael Boddicker—synthesizer
Donald Fagen, Rob Mounsey—synthesizers on "Pirates"
Randy Brecker—trumpet and flugelhorn on "Pirates" and "Woody and Dutch"
David Sanborn—alto sax on "Pirates" and "Woody and Dutch"
Tom Scott—tenor & baritone sax on "Pirates" and "Woody and Dutch"
Sal Bernardi—harmonica on "Pirates" and "Traces of the Western Slopes", vocals
Jerry Hey—trumpet and flugelhorn on "Traces of the Western Slopes"
Arno Lucas, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano—background vocals on "Woody and Dutch"
Ralph Burns—orchestral arrangements on "Skeletons" and "The Returns"
Nick DeCaro—orchestral arrangements on "Living It Up"

Produced by:

Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker

Comments:

When I was 15, I went on a school trip to NYC, and we stayed in the apartment of a friend of the teachers' (mind you, this was an *alternative* junior high school). He had an extensive record collection, among which were Hejira by Joni Mitchell, and the then new Rickie Lee Jones lp, Pirates. He played them for me. Pirates was cinematically orchestrated, with jazz and showtune flourishes, filled with stunning cityscapes and short-story characters (mostly losers and drifters) with Jones' burnished voice describing the tableaux. Jones' work was phantasmorgic, hallucinogenic, with the line between reality and literary (poetic) artifice intentionally blurred. Both albums are cornerstones of my tastes and sensibilities. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Do albums get more perfect? Some of her best songs here like "Skeletons" and "Living It Up." My favorite thing about it though (and her other work too) is the textures of sound, particularly vocal harmonies and the non-lyric vocalizations that are just like beautiful broad strokes of sound paint. Absolutely essential for fans and any admirers. (JoAnn.Whetsell)


Girl At Her Volcano

Release info:

1983—Warner—92-38054

Availability:

Out of print and hard to find—only released on vinyl and cassette

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Rickie Lee Jones fans and/or fans of jazz and pop standards

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, piano, synthesizer

Guest artists:

Michael Ruff—Fender Rhodes
Nathan East—bass
Reggie McBride—bass
Art Rodriguez—drums
Dean Parks—guitar
Neil Larsen—Fender Rhodes
Mike Ruff—vocals, synthesizer
Earl Dannar—oboe
Michael Fisher—percussion
Michael Boddicker—synthesizer
Victor Feldman—percussion, marimba
Lenny Castro—congras, triple scale
Leslie Smith, Arno Lucas, Sal Bernardi—vocals
Randy Kerber—piano

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones

Comments:

Note: cassette includes one bonus song not available on the vinyl album. Includes her live versions of "Lush Life", "Walk Away Rene", "My Funny Valentine", "Under The Boardwalk".....

The Magazine

Release info:

1984—Warner—9-25117-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—piano, voices, synthesizers, GS-1 digital synthesizer, arrangements on "The Weird Beast"

Guest artists:

James Newton Howard—synthesizers, string arrangements on "Prelude to Gravity" and "Magazine", horn arrangements on "Juke Box Fury"
Marty Paich—string arrangements and conducting on "Prelude to Gravity"
Steve Gadd—drums
Nathan East—bass
Dean Parks—guitar
Greg Phillinganes—fender rhodes
Lenny Castro—percussion
Michael Boddicker—additional programming on "Gravity", additional synthesizers on "Runaround"
Buzz Feiten—guitar
Neil Larsen—DX-7, organ, wurlitzer
Jerry Hey—horn arrangements on "Juke Box Fury" and "The Real End"
Jeff Porcaro—drums
David Hungate—bass
Jeffrey Pevar—guitar, 12-string guitar, mandolin
Victor Feldman—percussion
Steve Lukather—guitar
Sal Bernardi—co-composer of and vocals and acoustic guitar on "Rorschachs"
Nick DeCaro—accordion on "Rorschachs"

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones & James Newton Howard ("Rorschachs" produced by Rickie Lee Jones)

Comments:

Very atmospheric album with sparse instrumentation. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

Flying Cowboys

Release info:

1989—Geffen—9-24246-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—string synthesizer, keyboards, steel drum, synthesizer, guitar, acoustic guitar, drum program on "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," all instruments on "Rodeo Girl," vocals

Guest artists:

John Robinson—drums
Buzz Feiten—electric guitar, acoustic nylon string guitar
Neil Stubenhaus—bass
Dean Parks—electric guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic steel string guitar, guitar
Greg Phillinganes—keyboard
Bob Zimmiti—percussion
William "Smitty" Smith—organ
Michael Omartian—piano
Ed Alton—acoustic bass
Chris Smith—harmonica
Michael Fisher—percussion
Gary Coleman—vibes
Chris Dickie—drum program on "Rodeo Girl"
Walter Becker—synthesizer, bass
Bob Sheppard—sax, tenor saxophone
Jim Keltner—drum machine effects on "Ghost Train"
Michael Bernard—programmer on "Ghost Train," programmer for strings on "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," keyboard program on "Atlas' Marker"
Peter Erskine—drums
Pascal Nabet-Meyer—synthesizer, percussion, keyboard program on "Atlas' Marker"
Sal Bernardi—electric guitar, background vocals
Marty Krystall—english horn, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Vince Mendoza—trumpet
Rob Wasserman—bass
Paulinho da Costa—percussion
Greg Mathieson—hammond b-3
Michael Boddicker—string synthesizer
Randy Brecker—trumpet
Michael Ruff, Kevin Dorsey, The Waters, Leslie Smith, Vonda Shepard—background vocals

Produced by:

Walter Becker (Gary Gersh, executive producer)

Comments:

Very atmospheric album with sparse instrumentation. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

I've been positively addicted to this album since I got it a few weeks ago. I love the songs "Horses" and "Flying Cowboys" in these original versions as much as their later incarnations on Naked Songs where I first heard them. And "Satellites" may be my favorite song of hers ever. It's just about up there with "Pirates" as a stunning piece of work. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Pop Pop

Release info:

1991—Geffen—GEFD-24426

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended, especially for fans

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, 6- and 12-string acoustic guitar on "Comin' Back To Me," vocal arrangements on "I Won't Grow Up," horn arrangements on "Love Junkyard"

Guest artists:

Robben Ford—acoustic nylon string guitar, acoustic steel string guitar, acoustic guitar
Charlie Haden—bass
Dino Saluzzi—bandoneon
John Leftwich—bass
Michael O'Neill—acoustic nylon string guitar
Steve Kindler—violin
Joe Henderson—saxophone
Walfredo Reyes—snare, bongos, brushes, shaker
Bob Sheppard—clarinet, tenor saxophone
Charley Shoemake—vibes
Michael Greiner—hurdygurdy, glass harmonica
David Was—background vocals on "Dat Dere," bottles and junk on "Love Junkyard"
Terry Bradford, Donny Gerrard—background vocals on "I Won't Grow Up"
April Gay, Arnold McCuller—background vocals on "Love Junkyard"

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones and David Was (Pascal Nabet, executive producer)

Comments:

Well, not as good as her original work, but I like this album of covers more and more each time I listen to it. Particularly "Dat Dere" and "I Won't Grow Up." I don't think it will convert anyone into a Rickie Lee fan, but fans will probably enjoy it. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Traffic From Paradise

Release info:

1993—Geffen—GEFD-24602

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—acoustic guitar, mandolin, keyboards, bowed dulcimer, vocals

Guest artists:

John Leftwich—bass, cello, acoustic guitar on "Tigers," vocals on "Running From Mercy" and "Stewart's Coat"
Sal Bernardi—acoustic guitar, vocals
Leo Kottke—six string, twelve string, and slide acoustic guitar, vocals
David Hidalgo—eight string electric guitar and vocals on "Beat Angels"
Brian Setzer—electric guitar on "Rebel Rebel," vocals on "Rebel Rebel" and "Beat Angels"
Dean Parks—electric guitar on "Tigers"
David Baerwald—electric guitar and vocals on "The Albatross"
Jim Keltner—drums
Alex Acuna—drums and congas on "Tigers"
Brad Dutz—percussion, marimba, tarkas, bodhran, udu, mixing bowls and that's Brad on the floor in "Rebel Rebel"
Efrain Toro—percussion on "Pink Flamingos" and "Stewart's Coat"
Bobby Bruce—violin
Doug Lyons—french horn
Teresa Tudury—vocals
Lyle Lovett—vocals on "Running From Mercy"
Syd Straw—vocals on "Rebel Rebel" and "Beat Angels"

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones

Comments:

Talk about an erratic career! Every album seems to start a new phase, but the next one snubs it. No lyrics printed on the sleeve, but that's ok, because this time she doesn't slur her words! "Stewart's Coat," and "Tigers" are the highlights for me. (I_SW@zis.ziff.com)

I can't believe I wasn't a fan when she was *really* popular! (Riphug@aol.com)


Naked Songs: Live and Acoustic

Release info:

1995—Reprise—9-45950-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, instruments

Guest artists:

Rob Wasserman—bass on "Chuck E.'s In Love" and "Autumn Leaves"

Produced by:

Russ Titelman and Rickie Lee Jones

Comments:

I think it's a really good album. Granted, the only studio album of hers I've heard is the self-titled one, which I love. "Last Chance Texaco" IS a great song. So I can't compare the live to the originals for most of the songs, but it's a great, pretty laid-back, mellow album. I think it's pretty much piano and acoustic guitar. No back-up singers; and it's definitely not over-instrumentalized. It's pretty minimal. Not that there's anything missing; more that there's nothing there that's not needed. And Rickie's voice isn't perfect. You can hear her strain sometimes. It's not irritating; just human. I absolutely love "Skeletons". So yes, it's recommended. Highly recommended. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Ghostyhead

Release info:

1997

Availability:

Out of print

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, Taylor, Gibson L4, Gibson Mutt, Baby Bruno, Kay, Solid and hollow body Epiphone guitars, Kay bass, sleigh bells, drums, bowed dulcimer, 20kalimba, wurlitzer, rhodes, mpc-60, juno106, jx-8p, dx1000, wire recorder, piano

Guest artists:

Rick Boston—same instruments as those played by Rickie Lee Jones, plus loops and programming
Boss Doctor—additional programming
Lee Cantelon—backwards guitar
Robert Devery—rhythm/Korg Trinity
Carol Es—live drums
Josh Friese—live drums
Janeen Rae Heller—saw
Jay Lane—foot trunk/cymbals
John Leftwich—upright bass
Ronnie Siago—live drums
Gerry Sutyak—cello
David Zeller—sheet metal

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones and Rick Boston

Comments:

I am in love with the new Rickie Lee Jones, Ghostyhead...so cool, trip-hop folk-stoney.... trip-hopping-stoned-funny-dream-poems! She really took some chances, instead of just putting one out which all her loyals would have bought anyway, she jumped out into left field and hip-hop stony-walked her ways somewhere new. Not all works, some really do! Check it out. (cyo@landoftheblind.com)

I really like this too. I think she's up there with Jane Siberry for most drastic changes in musical approach.... The trip-hop thing really works for her too. A friend I played it for said it reminded her of Tricky. (swiebe@callisto.uwinnipeg.ca)

Another good one. I hope it grows on me more. I like it but haven't been caught by any particular song yet. I am amazed, however, that her voice works so well with the music. Who'd a thunk it? (brad@lightfallsdesign.com)

Trip-hop poetry from the beat generation? What's going on here? Whatever it is, it's beautiful and haunting. (afinney@ozonline.com.au)

have to digest this new direction still, erm i am sure i missing something but ah well. you get the point. a triphop sounding album, with her sort of reciting/singing poetry on top of that. personally i don't listen to it that much, but it is kinda fun. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Does anyone know what Rickie Lee Jones has been up to lately? Can we expect a return-to-form album soon after her 1997 miss-step Ghostyhead? Okay, okay, so Ghostyhead is definitely a bold creative effort by Rickie Lee, but there's just nothing you can sing along to like on her earlier stuff. You just kind of sit there and listen to it and fall into a trance, which I guess is kind of cool. (snooterbooter@yahoo.com)

I loved this album! I'm hoping for more like that one. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Vast majority of her fans didn't get it and the company pulled it after a very short run. I was knocked out by it for a month or so, obsessed with it for a year and now just plain love it. Lyrically her most intense album and musically, very experimental. I think some of the trip-hop elements turned a lot of people off, but I thought she uses these elements in such an organic way, that it worked really well. The concerts on this tour were incredible and this material was played much more aggressively. When more of her longtime fans eventually widen their musical perspectives, this will be looked back on as her lost masterpiece. (ABershaw@aol.com)


It's Like This

Release info:

2000—Artemis Records—EK 91429

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ

Guest artists:

Richard Davis, Paul Nowinski, Michael Elizondo—acoustic bass
John Pizzarelli—acoustic guitar
Carl Allen, Peter Erskine, Rick Marotta—drums
Bruce Brody—organ
Bashiri Johnson—percussion
Jeff Dellisant—horns
Alex Foster—saxophone
Conrad Herwig—trombone
Joe Jackson—piano on tracks 1, 3, and 11, vocal on tracks 1 and 11
Taj Mahal, Dan Hicks—singing on "Up a Lazy River"
Ben Folds—piano on track 5, singing on "Up a Lazy River

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones and Bruce Brody

Comments:

It's a general rule that I like covers better when I don't know the original songs. This is probably part of the reason I like Holly Cole and Shawn Colvin's "Cover Girl" albums so much. And part of why this new RLJ album works (mostly) for me. I've only heard "Smile," "On the Street Where You Live," and "Someone to Watch Over Me," before, and these are my least favorite tracks. But most of the other tracks are great. And I think this is a better album overall than her previous cover album, Pop Pop. Some of her forays into jazz are a little much for me, but "For No One" is really lovely, especially with Joe Jackson's piano, "Up a Lazy River" is fun, "One Hand, One Heart" is beautiful, and "Show Biz Kids," "Trouble Man," and "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" are so good, I could swear they were Rickie's own songs. So it's not a perfect album, but it does have a lot of gems, and RLJ fans should definitely pick it up. (JoAnn Whetsell)

(Comes with bonus live disc at Borders, by the way.) Loving it right away! Song NP: her cover of Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys." (ABershaw@aol.com)


Live at Red Rocks

Release info:

2001—Artemis Records/Epic—EK 91586

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, piano, 6 & 12 string guitar, electric guitar on "Gloria"

Guest artists:

Lyle Lovett—vocals on "Love Is Gonna Bring Us Back Alive"
Sal Bernardi—electric guitar, accordion, harmonica, vocals
Jeff Daniel—keyboard, vocals
Wayne Johnson—acoustic guitar, mandolin
John Leftwich—bass, vocals
Tony Morales—drums
Michael Stewart—trumpet, keyboards
Ron Powell—percussion, vibes

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones and Great Big Island

Comments:

I was hoping for more from this album. I love the live acoustic album Naked Songs and if you don't have any live Rickie Lee Jones albums, I would start with that one. That album also has a greater diversity of songs; half of the songs on Live at Red Rocks are from Flying Cowboys. That alone doesn't bother me since Flying Cowboys is one of my very favorite albums of hers, and probably of all time. But these live versions don't really do anything for me. I don't dislike it, but it doesn't pop into my player. I do like the cover of "Gloria" at the end. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Evening of My Best Day

Release info:

2003—V2 Records—63881-27171-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—rhythm guitar, electric guitar, electric keyboard, acoustic guitar, wah wah guitars, electric guitar (wah wah, sitar, slide acoustic), percussion (venetian blinds and blue jeans), electric piano, bowed dulcimer, tambourine, percussion, piano, nylon guitar, keyboards, vocals

Guest artists:

Tony Scherr—bass
Kenny Wollesen—drums, percussion
Bill Frisell—electric guitar
Neil Larson—piano, organ, electric piano, keyboards
Jerry Hey—trumpet, flugelhorn
Dan Higgins—tenor sax, flute, sax
Gary Grant—trumpet
Bill Reichenbach—trombone
Eric Benet—vocals
Mike Elizondo—bass
James Gadson—drums, vocals
David Kalish—electric guitar, additional wah wah guitar, dobro guitar, acoustic guitar
Alex Acuna—percussion
Jeff Dellisanti—sax, bass clarinet
Grant Lee Phillips—vocals
Rene Camacho—bass
Cougar Estrada—drums
DJ Bonebrake—vibes
Duke the Dog—chewing rubber toy
Sal Bernardi—harmonica, vocals, electric guitar
Ben Harper—vocals
Greg Phillinganes—vocals, piano, organ
Syd Straw—vocals
David Hidalgo—acoustic guitar
John Doan—26 string harp guitar
Craig Eastman—violin, mandolin
Phil Feather—English horn
Martin Tillman—cello
Cindy Wasserman—vocals
Blair Aaronson—string orchestration
Mike Watt—bass
Pete Thomas—drums
Nels Kline—electric guitar, slide guitar
Rob Wasserman—bass
Phillip Cordaro—acoustic guitar
Mario Calire—drums
Chris Joyner—wurlitzer piano

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones and David Kalish

Comments:

Any album that starts out with a song calling G. W. B. an Ugly Man is tops on my list. An excellent jazz arrangement on that song by the way. She's in fine form on this album. My favorite since Pop Pop. Her voice is in terrific shape. And her songwriting on this one is some of her best. I'm hoping that she'll do a Welcome Home concert at one of the local venues when she returns home from touring behind this album. (edcole@halcyon.com)

I was a little concerned about how I would like The Evening of My Best Day. Because of all the coverage of RLJ's political passion, I wondered if the music would be drowned under the weight of politics and good intentions, as sometimes happens. But one listen was all it took for me to recognize my fears were unfounded. True, "Tell Somebody (Repeal the Patriot Act)" is, in my opinion, the weakest song on the album, speaking purely musically. But there are a lot of gems here. I can hear the resemblance in some songs to her covers on It's Like This. Much of this album is musically in that direction, quite jazzy. It's great to have new music by Rickie, and even better that it's one of the best albums she's ever made. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Duchess of Coolsville: An Anthology

Release info:

2005—Rhino Records—R2 79715

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—keyboards, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric & nylon guitars, wah wah guitar, rhythm guitar, Taylor, Gibson L4, Gibson Mutt, Baby Bruno, Kay, solid and hollow body Epiphone guitars, synthesizers, piano, mandolin, bowed dulcimer, Kay bass, sleigh bells, drums, kalimba, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, MPC-60, Juno106, JX-8P, DX1000, wire recorder, percussion, horn & vocal arrangements, vocals, background vocals

Guest artists:

Neil Larsen—keyboards; electric piano on "Bitchenostrophy" and "Sailor Song"; piano on "Ugly Man"
Randy Kerber, Ralph Grierson, Mac Rebennack, Russell Ferrante, Clarence McDonald, Greg Phillinganes—keyboard
Randy Newman, Michael Boddicker, Donald Fagen, Rob Mounsey, Pascal Nabet-Meyer—synthesizers
Nick DeCaro—accordion; orchestral arrangements on "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" and "Living It Up"; string arrangement on "My Funny Valentine"
Buzzy Feiten—guitar, acoustic guitar
Fred Tackett—guitar, mandolin
Willie Weeks—Fender bass
Red Callender, Chuck Rainey, David Hungate, Neil Stubenhaus—bass
Steve Gadd, Andy Newmark, Mark Stevens, Jeffrey Porcaro, Art Rodriquez, John Robinson, Peter Erskine—drums
Victor Feldman—percussion, keyboards
Tom Scott, Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts—horns
Arno Lucas, Leslie Smith, Joe Turano, Matthew Wiener, Michael McDonald, Kevin Dorsey—background vocals
Johnny Mandel—orchestral arrangement on "Coolsville"
Dean Parks—guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar on "Tigers"
Steve Lukather, Jeffrey Pavar—guitar
David Kalish—guitar; electric guitar on "A Tree on Allenford"; acoustic guitar on "Sailor Song"
Lenny Castro, Bob Zimmiti—percussion
Sal Bernardi—harmonica; vocals on "Living It Up," "Stewart's Coat," and "A Tree on Allenford"; electric guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocal
Randy Brecker—trumpet & flugelhorn
Jerry Hey—trumpet & flugelhorn
David Sanborn—alto sax
Tom Scott—tenor & baritone sax
Ralph Burns—orchestral arrangement on "Skeletons;" horn arrangement on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Michael Ruff—piano on "My Funny Valentine"; background vocals
James Newton Howard—synthesizers; string arrangements and conducting
Dr. John—vocals, keyboards on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Larry Williams—synthesizer on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Paul Jackson—acoustic guitar on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Abe Laboriel—bass on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Harvey Mason—drums on "Makin' Whoopee!"
Walter Becker—synthesizer, bass
William Smith—organ
Michael Omartian—piano
Jim Keltner—drum machine effects, drums
Rob Sheppard—sax
Marty Krystall—English horn & clarinet
Vince Mendoza—trumpet
Michael Bernard—programming
Robben Ford, Michael O'Neill, John Pizzarelli—acoustic guitar
John Leftwich—bass, cello; acoustic guitar on "Tigers"; vocals on "Stewart's Coat"
Walfredo Reyes—brushes
Joe Henderson—sax
Leo Kottke—six string, twelve string and slide acoustic guitar
David Hidalgo—eight string electric guitar and vocals on "Beat Angels"; acoustic guitar on "Sailor Song"
Alex Acuna—drums & congas on "Tigers"
Brad Dutz—percussion, marimba, tarkas, bodhran, udu, mixing bowls
Efrain Toro—percussion on "Stewart's Coat"
Bobby Bruce—violin
Doug Lyons—French horn
Brian Setzer—vocals on "Beat Angels"
Syd Straw—vocals on "Beat Angels"

Rick Boston—Taylor, Gibson L4, Gibson Mutt, Baby Bruno, Kay, solid and hollow body Epiphone guitars, Kay bass, sleigh bells, drums, bowed dulcimer, kalimba, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, MPC-60, Juno106, JX-8P, DX1000, wire recorder, piano, loops & programming
Gerry Sutyak—cello on "Firewalker"
Jay Lane—foot trunk & cymbals on "Firewalker"
Carol Es—live drums on "Firewalker"
Robert Devery—additional programming, Boss Doctor, Rhythm & Korg Trinity
Paul Nowinski—acoustic bass
Rene Camacho—bass on "A Tree on Allenford" and "Sailor Song"
Phil Feather—English horn on "A Tree on Allenford"
Martin Tillman—cello on "A Tree on Allenford"
Jeff Dellisanti—bass clarinet on "A Tree on Allenford"
Grant Lee Phillips—vocals on "A Tree on Allenford" and "Bitchenostrophy"
Cindy Wasserman—vocals on "A Tree on Allenford"
Bill Frisell—electric guitar on "Bitchenostrophy," "Ugly Man," and "Atlas' Marker (The Aviator) (live)"
Tony Scherr—bass on "Bitchenostrophy," "Ugly Man," and "Atlas' Marker (The Aviator) (live)"
Kenny Wollesen—drums, percussion on "Bitchenostrophy"; drums on "Ugly Man" and "Atlas' Marker (The Aviator) (live)"
Dan Higgins—flute on "Bitchenostrophy"; tenor sax on "Ugly Man"
John Doan—26 string harp guitar on "Sailor Song"
Cougar Estrada—drums on "Sailor Song"
Craig Eastman—violin, mandolin on "Sailor Song"
Gary Grant—trumpet on "Ugly Man"
Bill Reichenbach—trombone on "Ugly Man"
Eric Benet—vocals on "Ugly Man"
Rob Wasserman—acoustic bass on "Autumn Leaves"

Produced by:

Original recordings produced by Lenny Waronker, Russ Titelman, Rickie Lee Jones, James Newton Howard, Tommy LiPuma, Walter Becker, David Was, Rick Boston, David Kalish & Steve Berlin; Compilation produced by Rickie Lee Jones & Karen Ahmed

Comments:

The Duchess of Coolsville is a sprawling 3-disc anthology spanning Rickie Lee's first 26 years of music. Discs 1 and 2 present 33 songs in alphabetical order. It's an odd way to listen. Given the many different styles that Rickie has worked in over the years, I think a chronological retrospective would not be the most interesting way of listening to her songs, either. But pure alphabetization provides little context for the songs or for her overall career.
     Disc 3, which includes collaborations, covers, live tracks, and demos, is the most interesting and rewarding for fans. It really gives a good sense of the wide variety of music Rickie has made over the years. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

Release info:

2007—New West Records—NW6108 & NW6112 (limited edition)

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, percussion, Moog synthesizer, keyboard, toy xylophone, finger cymbals, Wurlitzer, bowed dulcimer, tambourine, dulcimer, electric piano, electric bass

Guest artists:

Peter Atanasoff—guitars, oud, background vocals
Bernie Larsen—guitars, drum, synthesizer
Joey Maramba—bass, electric bass, bowed electric bass
Lee Cantelon—background vocals
Jay Bellerose—drums
Steve Abagon—guitar
Rob Schanpf—acoustic guitar
Pete Thomas—acoustic guitar
Joey Waronker—drums
Jonathon Stearns—trumpet

Produced by:

Rob Schnapf (3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13); Lee Cantelon & Peter Atanasoff (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12)

Comments:

The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard is not so much a sermon as a portrait of a world and a man that was inspired by Lee Cantelon's book The Words, a modern retelling of Jesus Christ's story. It's a different sound for Rickie. Sometimes hushed, often driving, sharing quite a bit in common with Lucinda Williams' recent work (Essence on). I find it riveting, aurally and lyrically. Definitely worth listening to, no matter your stand on religion.
     The limited edition includes a DVD with behind-the-scenes featurettes. Since some of the songs were recorded in one take, it's pretty interesting to watch. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Definitely really riveting and necessary. So risky and vital and artful and all of that business. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)


Balm in Gilead

Release info:

2009—Fantasy—FAN-31760-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, acoustic guitar, guitar, rhythm guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums, finger snaps, piano, electric/acoustic pianos, banjo, bowed bass, horn arrangements

Guest artists:

Sebastian Steinberg—bass, upright bass
Tom Evans—saxophone, flute
Brian Swartz—trumpet
Jon Brion—baritone guitar, guitar, bass, harmonics
David Kalish—bass, guitars, piano, Hammond B-3, dobro, organ
Pete Thomas—drums
Ben Harper—slide guitar (2, 10), vocal (2)
Arnold McCuller—backing vocal (2)
Vic Chesnutt—vocal (3, 5)
Alison Krauss—violin (3)
Reggie McBride—bass
Patrick Maguire—octave guitar
Joel Guzman—accordion, organ
Charlie Paxson—drums
John Reynolds—lead guitar, whistler (4)
Victoria Williams—vocal (5)
Bill Frisell—guitar (6)
Tony Scherr—bass (6)
Kenny Wollesen—drums (6)
Chris Joyner—electric piano (6), vocal, electric piano (8)
Blair Aronson—string and horn arrangements (6)
Paulie Cerra—sax (7)
Grey DeLisle—autoharp (8)
Danny Frankel—body slapping, tambourine (8)
John Doane—harp guitar (10)
Craig Eastman—violin, mandolin (10)
Ed Maxwell—bass (10)

Produced by:

Rickie Lee Jones, David Kalish, and Sheldon Gomberg

Comments:

A country waltz, a bluesy instrumental, some pop/folk songs.... The album sometimes feels like an odds and ends collection, and while not Rickie Lee's finest, I still like it. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The Devil You Know

Release info:

2012—Concord—CRE-34063-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, background vocals, guitars, percussion, piano

Guest artists:

Ben Harper—guitars, backing vocals, drums, percussion, vibes, bass, organ
Sheldon Gomberg—bass
DJ Bonebrake—vibes
Jamie Elman, Jesse Ingalls—piano
Larry Goldings—piano, organ
Chris Joyner, Jason Yates—organ
David Lindley—violin

Produced by:

Ben Harper; "The Weight" produced by Sheldon Gomberg

Comments:

Sadly I just really don't like this. It's really slow and spare and quiet, not a problem in and of itself, but the vocals are pretty mumbly (even by Rickie Lee's standards), and even when I turn the volume up I can't really hear a lot of the songs. "Comfort You" is probably the best track, but that's not saying much since my reaction to the songs ranges between finding them boring and nails-on-chalkboard grating. I should note that I'm a big fan of Rickie Lee, but most of her other covers have done little or nothing for me as well. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The Other Side of Desire

Release info:

2015—The Other Side of Desire Music—6 96859 94592 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Rickie Lee Jones—vocals, harmonies, background vocals, acoustic 6-string guitar, electric guitar, tenor guitar, guitar, banjo, piano, Hammond B3 organ, thumb piano, tambourine, shaker, keyboards

Guest artists:

Doug Belote—drums
Lenny Castro—percussion
Jon Cleary—B3, Wurlitzer, nord, acoustic guitar, background vocals
John Porter—acoustic & electric guitars, acoustic slide guitar, banjo
James Singleton—upright bass
David Torkanowsky—Wurlitzer electric piano, piano
Zachary Richard—accordion (3)
Shane Theriot—guitar (3); acoustic guitar (7, 9); bass guitar (8); hi string acoustic guitar (9)
Mark Howard—drum programming (4, 5)
Matt Perrine—electric bass (4-6); sousaphone, trombone (11)
Tony Mangurian—editing (4, 5)
Stevie Black—string arrangement & strings (6)
John Fohl—acoustic guitar (6)
Eric Bloom—trumpet (7)
Rex Gregory—alto/baritone sax (7); bass clarinet (10)
Charlie Halloran—trombone (7)
Brad Walker—sax (7)
Nigel Hall—background vocals (9)
Calvin Turner—background vocals (9)

Produced by:

John Porter and Mark Howard (4, 6, 11)

Comments:

Full of the sounds of New Orleans, but also unmistakably Rickie. This is her best album in years. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (valrichardson@igc.org)


Further info:

Rickie Lee Jones Fan Club, 16161 Ventura Boulevard #721, Encino, CA 91436

Rickie Lee Jones has released two DVDs: Live at the Wiltern Theatre (1992) and Live in Stockholm (2011). Her songs appear on many compilations and soundtracks. Songs only available on compilations include:

  • "Mink Coat at the Bus Stop" on WFUV: City Folk Live VII (2004)
  • "Subterranean Homesick Blues" on The Village: A Celebration of the Music of Greenwich Village (2009)
  • "They Can't Take That Away From Me" on A Tribute to Billie Holiday (2011)
Collaborations include:

  • "Between a Laugh and a Tear" with John Mellencamp on his album Scarecrow (1985)
  • The Moon Is Made of Gold" with Rob Wasserman on his album Duets (1988)
  • "O Holy Night" with The Chieftains and Suzie Katayama on The Chieftains' album The Bells of Dublin (1991)
  • "Autumn Leaves" with Rob Wasserman on his album Trilogy (2004)
  • "Garibe—Watching Over Me" with Halla Bassam on the album Lullabies From the Axis of Evil (2004)
  • "Comes Love" with Willie Nelson on his album Outlaws and Angels (2009)


Thanks to Dick Kastens and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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