GRP's generally well-chosen 1991 Collection covers an entire decade of Lee Ritenour releases from Elektra and GRP. As such, those years seem to form a late-'70s plateau descending into a commercial valley by the early part of the '80s and then gradually ascending a slope as Rit's playing grows and deepens in the decade's final years. Some of the high points are the Latin-inflected numbers from Festival ("Latin Lover") and Portrait ("Asa") and two excellent straight-ahead excerpts from Stolen Moments ("24th Street Blues," "Waltz for Carmen"), the latter two with lots of Wes Montgomery-like octave work. And even "Is It You?," Ritenour's pop hit from 1981, comes off as a good, catchy piece of record-making. Recommended for those who only want a sample of Lee Ritenour's voluminous solo output.
Lee Ritenour goes techno/pop/rock on an album originally released on the pop Elektra label – and as such is not recommended to jazz fans with a low tolerance for the stuff. Here Captain Fingers extends his reach to play keyboards and programmed electronic drums on a few tracks, along with very competent rock guitar .
Guitarist Lee Ritenour had just switched from Epic to Elektra when he cut Captain's Journey in 1978. It was a followup to the successful crossover work Captain Fingers and used a similar strategy: tight, hook-laden arrangements, polished production, and minimal solo space. What individual things it has are dominated by Ritenour, a supremely talented guitarist who doesn't display that much of it with these arrangements.
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.
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