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December 2002

Lee Ritenour
Rit's House
GRP

Although he’s best known for his contemporary jazz recordings, guitarist Lee Ritenour has drawn inspiration from a wide range of genres, including classical, straight-ahead jazz, soul-jazz, fusion, pop, rock Brazilian and beyond. On Rit’s House, his 30th album (GRP) Ritenour celebrates many of the influences that have shaped his distinctive musical aesthetic.

The emphasis here is on good old fashioned live playing, not flashy production, and Ritenour’s thoughtful, expressive soloing and easy camaraderie with his stellar lineup of musicians predominates. The full out soul jazz jam "78th and 3rd" pairs Ritenour’s fluid improvising with Joey Defranceso’s rollicking B-3. Ritenour radically reworks the Police’s "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" turning it into an atmospheric ballad that features a strong performance by singer Michael McDonald. On the exotic, Mizrab Ritenour’s ringing guitar is offset by Marcus Miller’s funky bass and George Duke’s Fender Rhodes, while saxophonist, Ernie Watts and Ritenour complement one another on the moody Night Owl a track that evokes a laid back, late night jam in a jazz club.

Originally published in December 2002
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