Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones is one of the most acclaimed and talented singer-songwriters
of our time. Her career spans nearly three decades of incredible
musical output spanning many genres: folk, rock, jazz, soul, spoken
word and pop. Always fearless, Rickie Lee has consistently pushed
her seemingly limitless creative abilities, as well as the music
Arriving on the scene in 1979, her first self-titled album, released
that year, received five Grammy nominations. Her nominations included
Best Song for "Last Chance Texaco", Best Album, Best Pop
Vocal and Best Rock Vocal. As it happened, she won Best New Artist,
and her career was launched. Only four months after her debut, Rickie
Lee was gracing the cover of Rolling Stone, and 18 months later
she was featured on the cover again.
Jones released Pirates in 1981 and then Girl At Her
Volcano in 1983, which offered listeners a challenging mixture
of jazz and pop. 1984 saw the release of The Magazine,
whereupon she took a five-year hiatus and moved to Paris. Rickie
Lee returned in 1988 to have her only child, Charlotte, and to write
Flying Cowboys with Steely Dan and producer/musician Walter
Becker on her new label, Geffen. While "Satellites" was
a 1989 hit, she found real success with her duet with long time
pal Dr. John on "Making Whoopie", which won both of them
a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance. She had also been nominated
the year before for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal for her rendition
of "Autumn Leaves" on Rob Wassermann's Duets.
Her next two records, Traffic From Paradise (1993) and
Naked Songs (1995) were her final Geffen releases. Ghostyhead,
released in 1997, is considered by many fans to be her best record
and certainly among her most unusual, using ambient and aggressive
rhythm tracks against which she recited impressionistic lyrics.
Ghostyhead was followed by another extreme on It's
Like This, an intimate and loving album of covers of a wide
gamut of popular songs, from "The Low Spark of High Heeled
Boys" to "Up the Lazy River". Continuing Rickie Lee's
own tradition of mixing pop and jazz, It's Like This featured
Taj Mahal, Joe Jackson, Ben Folds, and others and was nominated
for the Grammy for Best Pop Album in 2000.
The bootleg Live at Red Rocks was bought by Artemis and
released in 2001, and 2003 saw the release of The Evening of
My Best Day on V2. Iconoclastic guitarist Neils Kline remarked
that this record "was the greatest non-selling record of the
decade". However, Rickie Lee's records do continue to sell,
year after year. Her latest release is a three-CD anthology honoring
her career to date on Rhino, Dutchess of Coolsville.
Rickie Lee’s voice has a unique and boyish tonality, offering
no vibrato, and replete with a 40s-style jazz sensibility, has distinguished
her from every other major singer in the modern era. Much imitated
but rarely credited, Rickie Lee Jones is an unparalleled artist
of great integrity and credibility. Although she is somewhat shy
and reclusive in person, Rickie Lee's music has been a major force
in for nearly 30 years, a major influence on the music of Tori Amos,
Fiona Apple, Edie Brickell, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Michelle
Branch and many others.
Rickie Lee Jones continues to record and play live. Her newest album, Sermon On Exposition Boulevard,
was released February 6th, 2007 on New West Records.