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  • NEW Lee & Grusin Ritenour - Amparo (CD)
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NEW Lee & Grusin Ritenour - Amparo (CD)


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Audio CD, December 23, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

AMPARO: Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin with special guest stars; Joshua Bell, Chris Botti, Renee Fleming and James Taylor. Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin are two legendary musicians primarily known for their work in jazz but also known by a broader musical community in classical crossover, film scores, instrumental and adult music. Recognized both as composers and players, they are artists with strong name recognition. AMPARO has them together again after eight years for a sequel to their Two Worlds album. Like Two Worlds; AMPARO brings music from different areas together. In AMPARO's case music from South America, classical, vocal and jazz. Ultimately, it continues to celebrate their love of music in all its forms. A romantic and rhythmic mix of timeless melodies from Classical and South American music.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B0017LU06U
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Rhythm Sessions

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In a career that spans five decades and more than 40 albums, guitarist Lee Ritenour has developed a keen understanding of the symbiotic balance between the frontman and the supporting players, between the wisdom of experience and the enthusiasm of youth. On Rhythm Sessions, his new album set for release on Concord Records on September 25, 2012 (international release dates may vary) Ritenour ... Read more in Amazon's Lee Ritenour Store

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Customer Reviews

Very enjoyable for easy listening background music with pleasant "mood".
T. Stratton
If there's anything bad to say about it, it's just that the final piece on the album doesn't make the piece feel like it's over, but that's a minor thing.
Robert D. Watson
In this album jazz players Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin are joined by various musical guests.
drdanfee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By drdanfee VINE VOICE on August 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this album jazz players Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin are joined by various musical guests. These include singer James Taylor, jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, and a couple of friends from western classical art music, the violinist Joshua Bell, with Renee Fleming adding her own special touches.

At first uneasy glance, this disc looks like one of those cross-over repertoire efforts, geared up by the marketing department as much as by the musicians involved. But wait, do not dismiss the slightly odd mix out of hand.

Inspired by western classical art music, Ritenour-Grusin-and-company offer up their takes on famous melodies most listeners who go to classical concerts will probably recognize. Faure's Pavane gets turned into a floating melismatic vocalise - think Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras maybe? - with Renee Fleming deftly avoiding the temptations to make it too operatic or too arch. You may or may not be all that vocally convinced by Ms. Fleming's oblique momentary slides into something closer to Ella Fitzgerald than to Renata Tebaldi. Then later Ms Fleming reappears, all gussied up in something way closer to a baroque duet with Chris Botti on trumpet. But hey, it is really all in good fun. The western classical composers in France were actually more musically interested in jazz than not. (You have already checked out Ravel, Gershwin, Copland?) So when a Satie Gymopedie pops up later in the disc, the listener is not going to be all surprised. And even from the earliest polyphonists, folk and popular musical influences were cross-fertilizing western art music, else why would Pierre de la Rue, Josquin Desprez, and Okeghem have all weaved L'homme arme into their masses?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The title "Amparo," sums this whole album up for me. Not because of its meaning ("shelter" or "protection" in Spanish), but because it has nothing to do with the music. I think they picked a pretty-sounding Spanish word because there was some Spanish influence, but in the process lost the meaning of a very meaningful word. The music here is similar: technically proficient, but lacking meaning. Its like advanced elevator music.

The album has no discernible direction. There is a lot of classical, with somewhat jazzy piano, and a hint of latin influence through some very nice spanish guitar. But, some of the tracks don't really fit in at all. It's no good for listening to while you work (too distracting), or to relax (too uptempo), or just for listening (too boring). Maybe good for driving music.

The artists are still outstanding. However, you can find better work from all of them. I hoped matching Ritenour and Grusin would be something special - not so much. This is a big missed opportunity because, I think, it was more about production than substance. In the legal context, that's the exact opposite of an amparo - an action designed to protect substantive rights from bad process.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Slayzar on August 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As more of a casual music lover than a die hard critic I prefer to rip CDs and play them in the background as a large play list rather than analyze them like a critic you'd see on the show Frasier. That said, I am nowhere near qualified to critique X octaves used in Y song akin to artist Z as opposed to artist A who did it back in the day. To me, music is meant to sooth the savage beast either during the hard day or after it; as a graduate student slowly progressing on my thesis, I like any easy listening that caresses the senses but not putting me to sleep.

I obtained this mix believing a nice jazz or classical ensemble might help me pour the midnight oil and increase productivity. After integrating this CD into my easy listening play list and working I am fairly satisfied with my acquisition of this mix.

The instrumental mixes such as track 1-3 and "English Folk Song Suite" (track 5) were especially nice relaxation pieces although they differ greatly in terms of style. 1-3 were more jazz and (dare I say) seemingly tango mixes that would be better suited for a jazz club or cocktail party rather than a concert hall. Nonetheless, they made it into my final mix. Meanwhile, "Pavane, Op. 50" (track 4) was an opera mix that seemed too... it reminded me of the opera scene from The Fifth Element in terms of pitch and musical accompaniment. It's not bad but the opera voice seemed too distracting to be adequate background noise.

James Taylor has a good voice but track 6 seemed to be the tolken vocal track (aside from the two opera tracks), creating an inconsistency in the flow of the CD. The opera singers are talented, but it didn't seem to fit well with the other 80% of the CD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rob Szarka on September 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a film score for daily life, Amparo is more than serviceable. The musicians are top-notch and their performances are recorded and mixed with the kind of clarity that sounds natural despite being wholly unnatural. The compositions themselves strike a balance between being easily ignored and rewarding closer listening that give them staying power past that first spin in the CD player. In short, superb "shopping music".

So perhaps it's no surprise that my favorite track is "Since First I Saw Your Face", which features pop singer James Taylor. His beautiful, yet under-trained, voice gives the performance a human quality lacking on the rest of the album. Who knew Taylor had such potential as a secular John Michael Talbot?
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