GRAMMY-winning, guitarist Lee Ritenour, AKA Captain Fingers, has a wide-ranging array of material to revive, as evidenced by A Twist of Rit. 2015 commemorates 40 years since his debut recording, First Course, on Epic Records. A Twist of Rit, set for release on August 21, 2015 via Concord Records, is a magnificent follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2012 album Rhythm Sessions. Based on the wildly popular A Twist of… series that Ritenour curated for the GRP imprint, A Twist of Rit has the artist not reimagining Bob Marley, Jobim, or Motown but rather reimagining his own catalog of hits. There will also be a few new Ritenour compositions. Like the original Twist Of… series this will be an all-star affair featuring: John Beasley, Dave Grusin, Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts, Melvin Lee Davis, Michael Thompson, Wah Wah Watson, David T. Walker, Makoto Ozone, Tom Kennedy, Dave Weckl, Paulinho Da Costa, Ronald Bruner Jr., Chris Coleman, Bob Sheppard and Rashawn Ross.
Lee Ritenour's Rhythm Sessions is, in a roundabout way, a companion album to 2010's Six String Theory. For that record, he sought out a slew of guitar greats to celebrate their joint love for the instrument. Here, Ritenour assembles another top-flight cast for a set of tunes that range from fusion to pop, from contemporary jazz to post-bop and more. "The Village" places the guitarist with George Duke, Stanley Clarke, drummer Dave Weckl, and percussionist Munyungo Jackson. The fusion groove is nocturnal, slippery, even bluesy. Kurt Elling joins Dave Grusin, Nathan East, and Will Kennedy for an elegant reading of Nick Drake's "River Man." This utterly unique recording in the contemporary jazz genre is a fine showcase for his skills as a bandleader.
Portrait is predominantly a series of encounters between Ritenour and several guest interlopers, presumably to provide a well-rounded stylistic composite. The more heartening result is the acceleration of Ritenour's growth into a tastier, more musical guitarist, whether in the lead or sharing the spotlight.
Sizzling from start to finish, “Harlequin” is the result of one of the most intuitive partnerships in the world of jazz. Although Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin had been working together for a decade, “Harlequin” is regarded by the two musicians as their first genuine recorded collaboration, whereby from original concept, through selection of tracks and personnel to arrangements and mixing, it was truly a joint effort. Included in the top ten best jazz recordings ever by a noted poll, “Harlequin” is a blend of smoldering Brazilian rhythms and moods with a freshness and verve that brings on a tingle of excitement each time it is played. The scintillating jazz fusion of “Harlequin” includes added spice in the form of a major contribution by Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivan Lins who appears on three tracks.(grusin.net)
LARRY & LEE was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour have had parallel careers, but this CD is their first joint meeting on record. The two guitarists complement each other well and there are hints of Wes Montgomery along with a tribute to Joe Pass ("Remembering J.P."), but the songs (all of them their originals) are little more than rhythmic grooves most of the time with the usual fadeouts.
This album features a combination of fine guitar work, vocals and production values. Mr. Briefcase is a finely crafted piece of jazz-pop with lyrics that matter. There are many great songs on this record…