Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin to Return with ‘Amparo’

Award-winning collaborators jazz guitarist/composer Lee Ritenour and pianist/composer Dave Grusin are teaming up once more.

To be released in September by the Decca Label Group, Amparo, is a followup to 2000’s Two Worlds, showcasing the classical and jazz hybrid sound that Ritenour and Grusin have been crafting together ever since their first collaboration in 1986.

Amparo includes Ritenour and Grusin’s fresh takes on works by composers like Maurice Ravel, George Frederic Handel, Tomas Albinoni and Gabriel Faure.

“We grew up with the classical music repertoire, and Amparo gives us another chance to delve back into that world together,” Gruisin said about the collaboration in a press release.

But the record assures a variety of other influences, with longtime colleagues Ritenour, age 56, and Grusin, age 74, working with artists like James Taylor, Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell and Chris Botti.

Between Ritenour and Grusin’s careers, the musicians have a total of 12 Grammy awards and one Oscar among numerous nominations, including one for Two Worlds.

With their own arrangements and interpretations of works by composers like J. S. Bach, Bela Bartók and Manuel de Falla, Two Worlds managed to appeal to classical-oriented listeners and jazz fans alike with its blend of timeless and contemporary sounds.

The record spent 51 weeks on Billboard‘s classical chart.

Since their first collaboration in 1986 on the Grammy-award winning, Brazilian-themed Harlequin, Ritenour and Grusin have been successful in creating satisfying arrangements and critically acclaimed records.

“What is challenging,” Grusin continued in the press release, “is to design settings that are not meant to throw our guests into a sound that they’ve never experienced before, but instead to put them in a situation in which they feel very comfortable.”

Grusin is known for his work not only as a pianist, arranger and composer, but as a film scorer. He was a producer and arranger for many jazz acts throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, nominated for Academy Awards his films scores and noted for his television theme songs compositions.

Grusin co-founded the Arista/GRP (Grusin Rosen Productions) record label with collaborator Larry Rosen in 1978. The pair then founded the GRP record company in 1982. The label soon established a catalog of releases that focused on artistic freedom, with albums released by artists like Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea, and fusion bands like the Yellowjackets and Spyro Gyra.

Ritenour’s own solo career includes more than 30 album releases and more than 3,000 citations of session work, according to his web site. Near the start of his career at age 16, Ritenour sat in with popular folk-rock artists the Mamas and the Papas. He’s performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Pink Floyd, and is a founding member of the soul fusion quartet Fourplay.