Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones

4.3 3
by Rickie Lee Jones
     
 

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Women never played an overly active part in beat culture, but this sassy, scat-singing pianist did her best to make up for that on this swinging debut release in 1987. Jones's shaken-and-slurred delivery helped make "Chuck E.'s in Love" (a song dedicated to L.A. music-scene fixture Chuck E. Weiss) an instant hit and an enduring radio staple. That jazz-tinged barroom… See more details below

Overview

Women never played an overly active part in beat culture, but this sassy, scat-singing pianist did her best to make up for that on this swinging debut release in 1987. Jones's shaken-and-slurred delivery helped make "Chuck E.'s in Love" (a song dedicated to L.A. music-scene fixture Chuck E. Weiss) an instant hit and an enduring radio staple. That jazz-tinged barroom epiphany sets the tone for this disc, which ambles leisurely from sunny Angeleno pop to soulful proto-swing (kicked out in admirable fashion on the giddy "Danny's All-Star Joint"). Jones is even more effective, however, when she works with the darker aspects of her palette, painting vivid dreamscapes like "The Last Chance Texaco" and "Coolsville" -- which might be the closest anyone's come to approximating the Beatnik disposition on disc since the originators rode off into the sunset. A finger-poppin' good time.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
With her expressive soprano voice employing sudden alterations of volume and force, and her lyrical focus on Los Angeles street life, Rickie Lee Jones comes on like the love child of Laura Nyro and Tom Waits on her self-titled debut album. Given the population of colorful characters who may or may not be real people that populate her songs -- Chuck E., Bragger, Kid Sinister, and others -- she also might have had Bruce Springsteen in her bloodline (that is, the Springsteen of his first two albums), and her jazzbo sensibility suggests Mose Allison as a grandfather. Producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman, who know all about assisting quirky singer/songwriters with their visions, have brought in a studio full of master session musicians, many of them with jazz credentials, and apparently instructed them to follow Jones' stop-and-start, loud-and-soft vocalizing, then overdubbed string parts here and there. The music thus has a sprung rhythmic feel that follows the contours of Jones' impressionistic stories about scuffling people on the streets and in the bars. There is an undertow of melancholy that becomes more overt toward the end, as the narrator's friends and lovers clear out, leaving her "Standing on the corner/All alone," as she sings in the final song, "After Hours (Twelve Bars Past Goodnight)." It's a long way, if only 40 minutes or so, from the frolicsome opener, "Chuck E.'s in Love," which had concluded that he was smitten by "the little girl who's singin' this song." But then, the romance of the street is easily replaced by its loneliness. Rickie Lee Jones is an astounding debut album that simultaneously sounds like a synthesis of many familiar styles and like nothing that anybody's ever done before, and it heralds the beginning of a potentially important career.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0075992738927
catalogNumber:
3296
Rank:
15117

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rickie Lee Jones   Primary Artist,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Dr. John   Keyboards
Michael McDonald   Vocals,Background Vocals
Randy Newman   Synthesizer
Victor Feldman   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards
Tom Scott   Horn
Ralph Grierson   Keyboards
Michael Boddicker   Synthesizer
Red Callender   Bass
Nick DeCaro   Accordion
Howard "Buzz" Feiten   Guitar
Chuck Findley   Horn
Steve Gadd   Drums
Randy Kerber   Keyboards
Neil Larsen   Keyboards
Arno Lucas   Vocals,Background Vocals
Andy Newmark   Drums
Jeff Porcaro   Drums
Leslie Smith   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mark Stevens   Percussion,Drums
Fred Tackett   Guitar,Mandolin
Joe Torano   Vocals
Joe Turano   Background Vocals
Ernie Watts   Horn
Willie Weeks   Bass,Bass Guitar
Matthew Weiner   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mark Stevens   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Rickie Lee Jones   Horn Arrangements
Lloyd Cliff   Engineer
Nick DeCaro   Orchestral Arrangements
Lee Herschberg   Engineer
Tom Knox   Engineer
Johnny Mandel   Orchestral Arrangements
Roger Nichols   Engineer
Russ Titelman   Producer
Lenny Waronker   Producer
Mike Salisbury   Art Direction,Cover Design
Loyd Clifft   Engineer

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