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Lee Ritenour: Behind a "Twist of Rit"

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Lee Ritenour is a musical talent who approaches jazz as an artist does a canvas. He takes time to explore colorful arrangements within each song he records mixing various degrees of fusion, rock, blues, and funk based on the feel of the song. Ritenour has become a master of his own style in creating music that reflects the story of each song he performs through the instrument of the guitar. He has an innate passion to create message music that ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lee Ritenour at Scullers

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Lee Ritenour Scullers Boston, MA October 4, 2015 Guitarist Lee Ritenour has made a career as such a versatile session man (with session work ranging from Joe Henderson to Pink Floyd) and has done so many smooth jazz and pop dates that hardcore jazz fans can be forgiven for not having seen him burn live in the company of a real band on standards and his own originals. Ritenour assembled a vibrant ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Brazilians Spice Up Annual Montana Guitar Festival

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Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival Flathead Lake Lodge Bigfork, Montana August 30-September 5, 2015 Forget for a moment the stellar roster of international guitar greats at Bigfork, Montana's annual Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival, their inspired performances and enthusiastic, SRO crowds. This annual weeklong mixture of master classes and nightly public performances on the grounds of a half century-old traditional “dude ranch" boasts something that likely no other festival in the ...

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Lee Ritenour: 6 String Theory

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The very gift that makes a session musician great can also be a curse. Oftentimes expected to be chameleon-like, it's that very act of becoming a credible musical shape-shifter that can sometimes lead to a loss of individuality. Lee Ritenour is a consummate and complete guitarist if ever there was one; his varied discography supporting a seemingly insatiable appetite for anything to do with the six-stringed instrument and all its variations. Often (and, in many cases, unfairly) linked too heavily ...

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Lee Ritenour: Smoke 'n' Mirrors

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With a deep admiration for Wes Montgomery and a penchant for Brazilian music, Lee Ritenour is one of the most prolific guitarists in modern jazz. Whether as a front man, sideman or member of a group, “Captain Fingers can always be counted on for quality music. A Grammy winner, Ritenour has performed or recorded with several jazz, pop and R&B acts throughout his career, including Steely Dan, Bob James, Tony Bennett, The Mamas and the Papas and the Brothers Johnson, ...

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Lee Ritenour: Smoke n' Mirrors

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If travel is a broadening experience for the average Joe, it must be positively a revelation for the restless artist. Such is the case for Lee Ritenour, a musician who abandoned the comfort zone of cranking out innocuous jams for the far more risky territory of fusing world beat with contemporary jazz.In 2005, the guitarist performed in a series of concerts in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. The trip left such an impression upon him that for ...

INTERVIEWS

Lee Ritenour: Overtime

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In his three decades as a solo artist, guitarist Lee Ritenour has covered a lot of territory. While cranking out one excellent album after another as a frontman, he's also found time to sit in as a guest with other artists and even spent a few years as a member of the supergroup, Fourplay. Among those he has recorded or performed with are Maynard Ferguson, David Sanborn, the Brothers Johnson (remember “Strawberry Letter # 23 ?), Djavan, Kenny G, the ...

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Lee Ritenour: A Twist of Marley

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Lee Ritenour made quite a splash four years ago with his A Twist of Jobim CD, in which he pulled together a rotating cast of all-stars to offer a program of contemporary jazz updates of classics from the Antonio Carlos Jobim songbook. He’s used the same formula for his latest offering, A Twist of Marley. The results are, well, interesting. It doesn’t hue as closely to the contemporary jazz format as the Jobim tribute, nor is it that close to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Ritenour: Alive in L.A.

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This is the last album Lee Ritenour had left on his contract with GRP. He's already founded a new label, i.e. Music, on which has already appeared the all-star recording A Twist of Jobim, which was really a Lee Ritenour album except in name. What easier way to fulfill the rest of your contract than to submit a live album? Have a tape recorder running during a gig, turn it in, be done with it. I must admit that these ...