11 January 2013

Rickie Lee Jones: "Flying Cowboys", Redux

Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker only did one really important thing musically while he and Donald Fagen an Becker were taking their long hiatus (1981-1993). Guitarist / Producer-for-this superb album, released in 1989. Becker creates an ideal sonic format for Jones' neo-beat poetry/lyrics: smooth, almost-jazz arrangements that stay in Rickie Lee's trademark groove. There's even a soulful lesson delivered in a cover of Gerry and the Pacemakers' Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'.

I try to avoid quoting Rolling Stone magazine here, but this time they nailed it:
While it explores a wealth of themes and musical styles, the album unfolds with the ongoing grace of one long song. What provides unity to the album's varied elements is its seductive rhythmic flow, the down-home surrealism of Jones's lyrics, the clarity and intelligence of Walter Becker's production and, of course, the sensual elasticity of Jones's extraordinary singing (Rolling Stone, Nov.2, 1989, Reviews ).
This is by far my favorite Rickie Lee Jones record, though I can't pretend to have heard them all. Let's just say that the "rhythmic flow" of this album will draw you in and never let you go. To wit:

1 comment:

whiteray said...

I tend to forget about RLJ, and this is a good reminder to go back and listen again. Thanks!