Lee Ritenour’s label launched 20 years ago

On March 11, 1997, the first recording from the new i.e. music label was released. The album was an all-star tribute to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim called A Twist of Jobim. The label was co-founded by Lee Ritenour, JAZZIZ publisher Michael Fagien, and label operator Mark Wexler.

So what made Rit want to go out on his own after a lengthy stay at GRP? “In this day and age where thousands of records are released in a given year, I wanted more control over my music and destiny,” Lee Ritenour told Billboard in May 1998. “To have a successful record, you need great music and a great record company. If you have one without the other, it never works. With jazz, you need a team that understands the music and the marketing and promotion that goes with it.”

i.e. music logo

Captain Fingers was also excited about nurturing new talent. “I’ve been making music for 25 or 30 years. I wanted to give the talents and experience that I’ve been fortunate to develop back to some young artists.”

i.e. music issued a number of recordings in a little more than a year, including two Eric Marienthal discs and Ritenour’s This Is Love solo recording. The next “Twist of…” recording was A Twist of Marley on the GRP label in 2001.

Top Contemporary Jazz – 15 Years Ago

Here are the top selling contemporary jazz recordings as listed by Billboard on March 2, 2002. The Pat Metheny Group’s Speaking of Now debuted at #1.

  1. Pat Metheny Group –  Speaking Of Now
  2. Boney James – Ride
  3. Chris Botti – Night Sessions
  4. Various Artists –  Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped Vol. 1
  5. Walter Beasley – Rendezvous
  6. David Benoit – Fuzzy Logic
  7. Andre Ward Orpheus – Feelin’ You
  8. Peter White – Glow
  9. The John Scofield Band – Uberjam
  10. St. Germain – Tourist

Speaking of Now from the Pat Metheny Group

A little more Solsonics

One of my favorite recordings of all time is Jazz in the Present Tense by the Solsonics. It came out in early 1994 and I love every song, every arrangement, the tight sound, the playing…everything came together for me on that. Nearly 25 years later, it hasn’t aged at all.

Jazz in the Present Tense by the Solsonics

Like everything else you love, you can’t get enough of it. Other than some work on Guru’s second Jazzmatazz recording, that was it for the Solsonics. Or so I thought. I recently did some searching since there is always something new on the web. And I found something.

Solsonics founders Jez Colin and Willie McNeil appear to have penned “Yellow Butterfly” for a band called The Party. The track was produced by the Solsonics for that band’s 1993 farewell release, The Party’s Over…Thanks for Coming. The song sure sounds like it came out of the Jazz in the Present Tense recording sessions. It is the unmistakable Solsonics vibe. I love it.

I don’t see a way you can buy the track digitally. Fortunately, it’s on YouTube. Listen and enjoy:

Happy Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny Day!

In 1997, the Governor of Missouri declared Feb. 25 as Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny Day in honor of the Missouri natives unyielding artistic contribution to the arts and to celebrate the release of their new record Beyond The Missouri Sky. Both artists have Missouri roots. Pat was born and raised in Lee’s Summit, just outside of Kansas City.

Beyond the Missouri Sky by Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny