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Rhythm Sessions

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

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, he surrounds himself with a cadre of high-profile veterans and promising newcomers all of whom reaffirm the vital role played by the rhythm section in any worthwhile musical endeavor.

Included on the Rhythm Sessions roster are luminaries like Chick Corea, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller and many others. Also appearing throughout the record are the winners of Ritenour s 2012 Rhythm Section Competition, an international event he launched in 2009 as a guitar competition and later expanded to include aspiring keyboardists, bassists and percussionists. The competition winners appearing on the album include keyboardist Hans de Wild (Holland), pianist Demetrius Nabors (Michigan), bassist Michael Feinberg (New York) and drummer Selim Munir (Turkey). The album also features Ritenour s 19-year-old son Wesley, an aspiring drummer in his own right on one of the tracks.

The most recent result of that ongoing experiment is an album that embraces a variety of sounds and grooves, all rooted in jazz, but also layered with shades of funk, R&B, Latin, world music and more. The album s sense of variety stems from the eclectic source material. Some songs were penned by Ritenour, while others come from heavyweights like Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin, Chick Corea, EST and Nick Drake. I wanted the various rhythm sections assembled for this album the guitar, keyboards, bass and drums to be very organic, says Ritenour. "The songs I wrote for this project were written with these different musicians in mind, and the songs I picked by other songwriters brought to mind certain players as well. So while my name may be on this record, it s as much about these other players as it is about me."

Ritenour's previous recording, 6 String Theory, had focused primarily on guitar by featuring the international winners of his 2009 guitar competition. However, in keeping with his ongoing commitment to discovering and mentoring new talent, he quickly realized that there was so much ground yet to be covered. "There are just so many great piano players and bass players and drummers out there, so when it came time to make Rhythm Sessions, I thought, Why not make a record featuring some of those great players, and then extend the contest to include the rhythm section, and let the young rhythm section winners make an appearance on the record?"

This mix of seasoned players with newcomers results in a multi-layered, multi-textural and extremely engaging recording. "I'm at a point in my career where I'm marshalling all of my skills and experience over 40 years and really putting it all into an album like Rhythm Sessions, he says. I've always loved working with great talent, and at the same time finding new young talent and opening doors for them. I want to take as many opportunities as I can to give something back as a way of expressing my thanks for all that s been given to me."
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Digital Booklet: Rhythm Sessions
Digital Booklet: Rhythm Sessions
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B008OIQYTG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,884 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Legendary Jazz artist Lee Ritenour shows a great ability to make a wide variety of veterans (Chick Corea, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller & others) & newcomers to jell well with his own band to produce this delightful jazz album titled 'Rhythm Sessions'. Lee Ritenour has been doing this sort of thing for a while now as well as his experience of being in the music industry for more than 40 years. The CD (12 tracks) has an entertaining/enjoyable feel : great melodical music, wonderful Gibson guitar finger pick-ups, beautiful piano accompaniment as in the tracks "River Man", "Fat Albert Rotunda", "800 Streets By Feet", "Children's Song #1" & "Rose Pedals" and wonderful vocals as in the 'pop/rock-ish' track "Maybe Tomorrow". Stand-outs/gems/solid tracks include "The Village" (this is the opening track with a wonderful melody & great Gibson guitar work), "800 Streets By Feet", "Children's Song #1", "L. A. By Bike", "Spam - Boo - Limbo", "Rose Pedals" & the closing track "Punta Del Soul". Great tracks include "River Man", "Fat Albert Rotunda", "Maybe Tomorrow" (featuring the renown South African musicians Zamajobe & R. J. Benjamin on lead & backing vocals respectively), "July" & "Dolphins Don't Dance". There is no weak track or CD filler, production is excellent & great execution of good compositions.

On overall, you have a great CD release by the jazz maestro Lee Ritenour in 'Rhythm Sessions' : wonderful collaboration of veterans & newcomers. A highly recommended CD listening pleasure.
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Rhythm Sessions by Lee Ritenour is another well recorded Album with great session musicians on 12 catchy Tracks :

The Village ( 5:06) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , George Duke - Fender Rhodes Moog Sythesizers , Stanley Clarke - Acoustic Bass , Dave Weckl - Drums , Munyungo Jackson - Percusion , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programing )

River Man (4:35) : Kurt Elling - Vocals , Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Dave Cruising - Fender Rhodes , Nathan East - Bass , Will Kennedy - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths Programming )

Fat Albert Rotunda (4:43) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Pratice Rushen - Acustic Piano , Marcus Miller - Electric Bass , Malvin Lee Davis - Electric Bass Guitar , Oscasr SDeaton - Drums , Deron Johnson - Fender Rhodes , Rob Bacon - Rhythm Guitar , Munyungo Jackson - Percussion , Ariel Mann - Synths Programming )

800 Streets By Feet (3:25) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Christian Mcbride - Acustic Bass , Wesley Ritenour - Drums , Ariel Mann - Guitar , Synths , Programming , Keyboards )

Children's Song #1 (5:16) : Lee Ritenour - Classical Guitar , Chick Corea - Piano , Alan Pasqua - Aditional Piano , Chuck Berghofer - Acoustic Bass , Peter Erskine - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming )

LA By Bike (5:44) : Lee Ritenou - Guitar , Larry Goldings - Hammond B3 Organ , Melvin Lee Davis - Bass , Sonny Emory - Drums , Ariel Mann Synths , Programming )

Maybe Tomorrow (3:41): Zamajobe - Vocals , Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Tal Wikenfeld - Bass , Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming , Keybords , R. J.
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Format: Audio CD
This guy is at the top of his game both musically and engineering wise. I'll forgo all the accolades of the music. If you like Lee and the last 10 years or so of his work you will like this. What I'm happiest about is that along with his last Blu Ray release "Overtime" the engineering / mix / sound is absolutely first rate. If you have the capability download the 96/24 or better version from HD Tracks. Stellar Sound!
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If you are a Lee Ritenour fan you will love this album. I think this is his most creative sound in some time and it is a 5 star CD. Looking forward to seeing him play some of these songs later this year.
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As on his last album, 6 string theory, Lee Ritenour is gathering top class studio artists and creates an extremely versatile CD. Anybody liking melodic, rhythmic jazz music with a lot of different facettes will have much longlasting fun. You feel the joy the musicians had when recording this album. You'll find some interesting videos on youtube, showing the production of this recording.
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This is a typical Lee Ritenour recording, jazzy, funky and colorful. I really like how he doesn't come in on the 'one' of each solo.
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Talk about life imitating art. I've been involved lately in doing a private art project inspired by jazz musicians. And this album was something that ended up in the CD player as I was doing this. Having known Lee Ritenour for many years primarily as a member of George Duke's band and his famous session work,it was only recently I began exploring some of his solo recordings from his GRP years. Lee's guitar playing possesses what I'd call a quit fire. He's not exactly a flamboyant and loud player. At the same time there's a good reason for that. He seems to keep his playing style rather subdued in volume to draw the focus into his main asset as a musician: his instrumental fluidity,legendary level of technique and of course his ability to interpret and reinterpret melodies. Over the years,of course he's played with many different musicians from all over the spectrum of jazz. Needless to say,his musical and likely personal closeness with all of them results in a situation where he could (and would) easily call upon them for a session. Well I am sure not all of them are here on this. But a good many are.

The opener "The Village" features ex boss George Duke and Stanley Clarke,along with David Weckl for a recording that centers right into the rhythm section for some hard and exploratory jazz funk. A version of Herbie Hancock's "Fat Albert Rotunda" with Patrice Rushen and Marcus Miller,as well as the trio oriented "July" all zero in on the steady,tight groove. On "River Man" he brings in Dave Grusin and Will Kennedy for a haunting rendition of "River Man",a very jazz standard type take on the Nick Cave song sung by non other than Kurt Elling in his equally haunted manner.
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