Once Blue re-issued with “lost” second album. Available on iTunes!

April 27, 2010

Hey everyone.  Jesse here, writing to you, which I know is a rare occasion, but I thought this newsletter required it.

Many moons ago, in the mid 90s, I was a part of a group called Once Blue, led by the singer Rebecca Martin, with whom I made my first albums for EMI.  The first one came out in ’95, and we toured behind it for a year.  The second one was recorded at the end of ’96 and never came out, except in Japan a few years ago, appearing as the 9 bonus tracks to the release of the re-mastered original album.  That version is what I would call “The Complete Once Blue,” containing over 20 songs.  At last, after nearly 15 years, for the first time ever in the US, it is available today on iTunes.

That second album, which begins at track 13 “The Endicott,” was thought for a long time to be lost forever. We had been dropped from the label before ever doing the final mixes and later did not have possession of the masters; besides, it never seemed practical to bother, since the group ceased to exist. But in 2002, our former management, going out of business, offered to give us back all our old reels and DAT tapes, of which there was one single DAT of the second album’s rough mixes.  They sounded incredible, bolstering the perennial argument that “the rough mixes are better.”  These are what appear on this release, and there are some classic gems among them, if I may so myself!  For example, Kurt Rosenwinkel’s guitar solo on “Shadow Of A Bird” is simply brilliant and continues to mesmerize me time and again.

Since it’s a downloader’s world now, for those only interested in getting a handful of tunes, I would recommend “Now That I’ve Disappeared” and “I Hate to See You Go” from the first album and almost all the bonus tracks from the second album, but particularly the above mentioned, as well as “Children and Holidays,” “The Endicott,” “Music Of The Carousel,”  and “Out In The Rain.”

On another note, I’ve recently completed two new albums, one with vocals and the other all instrumental.  The vocal album is called “Through The Night” and will be out sometime this year.  It’s the closest thing to a rock album I’ve made in a long time and harkens back in tone and spirit to Crooked Lines.  I’ve left the 6 string banjo behind for now and have been playing only electric guitar.  My friends Bill Dobrow, Mauro Refosco and Guilherme Monteiro contributed their amazing talents as the band and my frequent collaborator Terry Manning co-produced and engineered.

The instrumental album is titled “Cosmo” and will be released by John Zorn’s label Tzadik Records this year as well. Of the 12 tracks on it, 6 are new compositions and 6 are instrumental versions of previously recorded songs, such as “Somewhere Down The Road” and “Wish I Was A Bird.” I’m joined by old and new friends Kenny Wollesen, Rob Burger, CJ Camerieri, Eivind Opsvik, Tony Scherr and Doug Wieselman.

There will be a Nublu gig of the vocal music on Friday May 21.  For those who haven’t been down to a show there, it’s been a lot of fun and I recommend having the Nublu experience!

Happy Spring!  See you soon.

All the best,
Jesse

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