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.”
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.