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CD Review: Lee Ritenour "Rhythm Sessions"

Release Date 09/25/12 



















Review By: Cheryl Boone

Lee Ritenour "Rhythm Sessions"

Concord Records  



When someone has been in any business for 4 decades, he knows the ins and outs, what works and what doesn’t; one is able to recognize the talents of veterans and newcomers, as well as become more proficient in your own right.  Lee Ritenour is that someone and it’s obvious on his latest CD, Rhythm Sessions.


On Rhythm Sessions, Ritenour called on old friends to offer exceptional support behind his guitar.  He also incorporated the emerging talented winners of his 6 String Theory International Rhythm Section Competition, to cut a track. 


The opening number, “The Village” (Dave Weckl, George Duke and Stanley Clarke), delivers a tune that is both smooth and bluesy, giving a great start to what’s to come on upcoming tracks. 


Rhythm Sessions includes several cover tunes. Included in those covers are Nick Drakes’ “River Man”, (with Dave Weckl, George Duke and Stanley Clark), featuring the vocal talents of Kurt Elling,    Herb Hancock’s jazzy yet funky “Fat Albert Rotunda” (Marcus Miller, Patrice Rushen and others), and “Children’s Song#1” showcases Lee’s guitar licks with the originator of the tune, Chick Corea himself. “800 Streets by Feet” (Ariel Mann, Christian McBride, and Wesley Ritenour, Lee’s son on drums) and “Spam-Boo-Limbo” shows Ritenour’s ability to capture and maintain the songs original grooves. 


Ritenour also brings 3 original tunes to the CD, “July”, (Larry Goldings, Melvin Lee Davis and Sonny Emory), an easy grooving number with a nice bass line, “Rose Petals” (Dave Grusin, Nathan East, Will Kennedy) and “Dolphins Don’t Dance” (Alan Pasqua, Larry Goldings, Peter Erskine), showcasing Lee’s classic guitar sounds.  Also integrated in the track lineup are “L.A. by Bike” and “Maybe Tomorrow”.


Closing out Rhythm Sessions is “Punta Del Soul”, the track that showcases the talents of Ritenour’s 6 String Theory International Rhythm Section Competition. In the future, be on the listen for the names of pianist Demetrius Nabors, keyboardist Hans De Wild, drummer Selim Munir and bassist Michael Feinberg, and remember where you first heard them.


Overall Ritenour’s Rhythm Sessions is a great CD merging stellar performers and introducing a new generation of musical talents.  It’s a must add to your collection album, and a project to be enjoyed for years to come.









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          Joe Crocker
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