Highly Recommended Album and Cabaret: RICKIE LEE JONES (“Pieces of Treasure” at Birdland)

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by Tony Frankel on February 28, 2023

in CD-DVD,Concerts / Events,Theater-New York

The mood is jazz. The icon is Rickie Lee Jones. The voice just keeps getting better. Rickie Lee Jones’s latest album Pieces of Treasure is a reunion with her lifelong friend, legendary producer Russ Titelman, who co-produced Jones’ star-making albums Rickie Lee Jones and the seminal Pirates. Reminiscent of her iconic POP! POP!,  Pieces of Treasure – an album devoted entirely to the American Songbook – will be released on April 28 via BMG Modern Recordings. I’ve seen her in an intimate cabaret setting four times, and each night still lingers in my memory like a cool breeze from a Hoagy Carmichael song.

From Thursday, April 6 to Saturday, April 8 with shows at 7 & 9:30pm, Jones will be playing special preview shows at BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB in New York City, backed by Rob Mounsey on piano, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Paul Nowinski and drummer Mark McLean. THESE SHOWS WILL SELL-OUT, SO GET THOSE TIX NOW. Center tables are $100 a person, side tables are $80 a person and bar seating is $50 a person. There is a $20 food and beverage minimum. A livestream option on Friday, April 7 at 7pm is available HERE for $30. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. Also for reservations, call (212) 581-3080 or visit Birdland Jazz.

“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.  “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 Mounsey on piano, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist David Wong and drummer McLean, this is an elegantly simple, 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.”

The album’s opening track “Just in Time” was written by Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and features Mike Mainieri on vibraphone. “I am flirting with the microphone, sexy in a kind of ‘grown-ups in the 1960s’ way, like Dean Martin might have been with his sweetheart,” says Jones of the song.

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