Lee Ritenour: A Twist of Marley
A read through the who’s-who personnel list gives you some idea what to expect. Michael Brecker offers tasty tenor on “Exodus” and “Redemption Song.” Rick Braun floats his recognizable muted trumpet on a bed of background horns and background vocals on “So Much Trouble.” The fact that so many contributors appear on just one or a few songs indicates just how constantly the landscaping changes throughout the album. The new wildcard here is Jochem van der Saag, who provides much of the keyboards, synthesizers, programming, bass, and vocals throughout the album. While there is plenty of programming here, van der Saag manages to steer clear of formula and cliché most of the time and can claim some of the credit for the new ground that is broken here.
This is one of those CDs that doesn’t impress on first listening, but you will continue to hear new things on subsequent playings. Maybe it’s because much of what’s on this disc is different from what we’re used to hearing from Ritenour and it takes some warming up to. Part of my initial tepid reaction might also have to do with the fact that, admittedly, I am not that familiar with the music of Bob Marley or the reggae genre in general. But Ritenour certainly deserves credit for offering up something new to open our ears and stretch our horizons. (GRP 314 549 787)
Track Listing: (1) Exodus; (2) I Shot the Sheriff; (3) Get Up Stand Up; (4) No Woman No Cry; (5) Is This Love; (6) Redemption Song; (7) Jammin
Personnel: Lee Ritenour
Record Label: GRP Records