I am pleased and proud to announce the immediate release of my second full album of instrumental music with my friend Rob Barteletti, who sadly passed away unexpectedly last September. Called Between The Lines, the album contains nine brand new songs written, arranged and produced by Rob with accompanying guitar and bass from me. You can listen to Between the Lines now, at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music at my Bandcamp site and pretty much wherever you stream or purchase music.
Rob and I put our first album out almost exactly a year ago, called New Worlds: An Instrumental Journey. To refresh, I met Rob in the 80s when he was an English teacher at my high school. We re-connected in Portland when both of us found our respective ways into town. Rob later moved to New Mexico and we stayed in touch. During our ‘stay home months’ of 2020-21, Rob got on a creative roll and we started working together virtually, culminating in last year’s New Worlds album and now, Between the Lines.
Although his passing was a total shock (he had just sent me a new song that morning…), Rob and I intended to complete this new album and he left me pretty much everything I needed to get it released. He had uploaded his final mixes to a Dropbox folder. He had shared his vision for the cover art and had chosen the name for the CD. And because he had shared early mixes of the material with his private mailing list, I have Rob’s own thoughts about every song, which I’ve pasted below.
I wish Rob was here to enjoy the response to the album. He was a creative, passionate, prolific and empathetic human and I miss him dearly. The least I can do, with the blessing of his family, is to make sure this music gets out into the world. So, please give Between the Lines a ‘virtual spin’ and while you are at it, a search for “Rob Barteletti” on your go-to music streaming service will pull up much of his work from over the years. I hope you enjoy it all. And please share if you are so inclined.
Between the Lines
Rob Barteletti and Paul Lesinski
These song notes are from Rob’s emails:
Serengeti - “Serengeti” is sort of a blues-jazz piece, with a little funk and Latin influence tossed in. Paul plays solo guitars and bass. He interpreted my original concept beautifully and made the song come alive. I’m in the background with the organ, drums, percussion, and rhythm guitar (using my MIDI keyboard and loops). Makes me think of listening to live performances by Dan Balmer and Tom Grant back in the early 1990s in Portland. It’s a song in two parts. I love the way it reflects the Serengeti with the long, lazy first part, like lions napping in the midday sun. Then we suddenly get the musical payoff (what Sting says is necessary for a “flagship” song) when the lions wake up and are off on the hunt. Those are the two images in my head when I was creating the song.
Funkyville - [This song] came to me quickly. We hope you like it — and, if you like funk, you might even love it! Paul and I had a lot of fun with this one. [Paul note: Rob’s wife told him “it reminds her of The Jazz Crusaders. It’s great funk!”]
Love Story - For lack of a better name, I’m calling this, for now, “Love Story.” It’s a sweet tune, but for now it’s just a template. Paul is awesome filling in for Mark Knopfler, who had a cold and couldn’t make it to the recording session! [Paul note – we finished it!]
Riding Tall (In The Saddle) - Changed the title (used to be “Riding High — didn’t want to give anyone the wrong impression:). Then after countless revisions, I finally sent Paul the version I thought was the one he would be able work with. Wrong. He made a valiant effort, but the basic structure and arrangement I had created for the song was all wrong. Fortunately, Paul had given me plenty of guitar (and bass) to work with. So I performed major surgery, — rearranging, editing, and mixing what had been a bit of a mess (my bad), and Paul’s guitar work shines again. This is the final result. Welcome to "RIDING TALL (IN THE SADDLE).”
Remembering Brubeck - I was listening to a Dave Brubeck and all-time jazz classic, “Take Five,” which he wrote in 5/4 time. I wanted to take my stab at that difficult time signature, so I composed ”Remembering Brubeck” with that in mind. I was also listening to renown vibraphone artist Gary Burton at the time, so I added some vibes to the song. The organ just found its way into the recording for a cameo appearance!
Just Around the Bend - Paul sent me an abundance of options, so after consulting with him, I did more editing and mixing and finally came up with this new version of “Just Around the Bend” featuring Paul on solo guitars and bass.
Cloak and Dagger - I call this instrumental piece “Cloak & Dagger” because it was inspired by the theme for an old private eye tv series — one of my all-time favorites — The Rockford Files
Between the Lines - I wanted to do something with a hip-hop beat, since I had never tried that before. I found some funky guitar loops to cut-and-paste and came up with this song.
La Puerta (Siempre Esta Abierta) - [Paul Note – this was the last song Rob and I worked on together. He sent me the final mix two days before he died. It seems fitting both musically and in the title he chose for it – Spanish for “the door is always open…” RIP Rob, my buddy…]