“Here is a song my father taught me. I articulated this song more than I have spoken any text in my entire life,” says Rickie Lee Jones, of ‘September Song’. “I wanted everyone to hear what I was saying, to understand how deeply, how acutely everything is felt in the time before it ceases to exist. There is the autumn leaf. There is the moon. Here is your face. Life is articulated for the old folks, who gentle it with a resolute mind, for they know the world belongs to the young.”
Listen to ‘September Song’ here, written by Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson. Rickie is backed by guitarist Russell Malone, pianist Rob Mounsey, Mark McLean on drums, bassist David Wong and Scott Robinson on trumpet and alto sax.
Rickie Lee Jones’ latest album Pieces of Treasure (BMG Modern Recordings) is a reunion with her lifelong friend, legendary producer Russ Titelman, who co-produced Jones’ star-making albums – her 1980 debut Rickie Lee Jones and the seminal Pirates. Available everywhere April 28, on vinyl, CD or streaming, experience the sensual, elegant, groundbreaking spirit that is always Rickie Lee. Preorder here.
Great jazz never imitates what has already been done. Throughout her career, the Grammy-winning singer songwriter has interpreted an extraordinarily wide range of songs, often on the same album (David Bowie publicly praised her take on ‘Rebel Rebel’). She has recorded celebrated jazz-leaning albums including Girl at Her Volcano and Pop Pop, but until now, she had never devoted an entire album to the American Songbook.
“This album is as much about being human, the view of surviving—which means aging, and loving relentlessly—as it is about anything,” says Jones, now 68 with an acclaimed memoir, Last Chance Texaco. “We love ‘til the day we die, love our lives, our families, and finally ourselves.”
Recorded over five days at Sear Sound in New York City, backed by the quartet of Rob Mounsey on piano, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist David Wong and drummer Mark McLean, Pieces of Treasure— the title a callback to Pirates —is elegantly simple, a deeply emotive set pulled from Jones’ own life and experience. “This is an album Russ masterfully picked players who are exceptional musicians, who listen and respond,” says Jones. “And that’s partly why this sparse thing sounds so totally complete, because everyone responds to each other and builds this perfect room.”
“This American Songbook recording shows Rickie’s artistry in full bloom,” says Titelman. “Her voice has always sounded a bit younger than it ought to (that may be a function of her ability to inhabit the character who is singing the song so masterfully that you believe every word) but on this recording the aging voice sounds even better to me than the youthful one. There’s a resonance and warmth in her lower register that wasn’t there before. I adore the young Rickie Lee but I love even more the Old Dame.”