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on September 26, 2012
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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on October 16, 2012
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.Benjamin - Background Vocals )

Spam Boo LIMBO (4:01) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , John Beasley - Piano , Tal Winkefeld - Bass , Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming )

July (4:54) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Larry Goldings - Hammond B3 Organ , Melvin Lee Davis - Electric Bass Guitar , Sonny Emmory - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming )

Rose Pedals (3:53) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Dave Crusing - Piano , Nathan East - Yamaha Silent Bass , Will Kennedy - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming )

Dolphins Don't Dance (6:50) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Alan Pasqua - Acoustic Piano , Larry Goldings - Hammond B3 Organ , Bass Pedals , Peter Erskine - Drums , Ariel Mann - Synths , Programming )

Punta Del Soul (5:29) : Lee Ritenour - Guitar , Demetrius Nabors - Acoustic Piano , Additional Arranging , Hans De Wild - Hammond B3 Organ , Michael Feinberg - Acoustic and Electric Bass , Selim Munir - Drums )

Guitar Player Magazine Awarded Lee Ritenour a Life Time Achievement Award in 2010 & 6 String Theory won a few awards in 2011 and as for Rhythm Sessions may not be another 6 String Theory but a nice Jazz Guitar Album with some of the worlds best session musicians ... Another Great Album .
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on October 24, 2012
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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on October 7, 2012
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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on October 31, 2012
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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on October 21, 2012
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. Most of the rest of the albums songs such as "800 Street By Feet",his own "LA By Bike" and "Rose Petals" concentrate on strong,rhythmic jazz-rock fusion type numbers with a good deal of emphasis on improvisational jazz playing. On his take of Chick Corea's "Children's Song" and "Spam-Boo-Limbo" even the instrumentation itself seems to bounce and dance as the Latin side of Lee,one of the key elemtns in his sound from the outset,really takes presidents. "Maybe Tomorrow" is the closest song on this album to a rock song featuring the vocalist Zamajobe.

"Dolphin's Don't Dance" is one of the most powerful numbers on the album,sound very much like the type of song early Weather Report would do representing the earliest days of the fusion genre. Of course with Alan Pasqua and Peter Erksine on board one could say it essentially IS a Weather Report number of sorts-minus,of course the incomperable late Joe Zawinul. The album ends with Punta Del Soul,again featuring the winners of Lee's 6 String Theory competition for this year on a vibrant Latin funk/fusion number. Rhythm is the key phrase in everything on this album. The guitar,keyboards,bass lines,even the melodies themselves consistently place all their emphasis on the rhythm of the songs. Of course these are the rhythm section. At the same time,all of these qualities come together to make this one of Lee Ritenour's most consistently funk oriented recordings in quite a long time. All musicians,from well known's to unknowns,come through on top of their game instrumentally and every one of these songs,though coming from often very different ends of the jazz,fusion and funk spectrum will likely be extremely strong and involving for the person listening to it.
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on June 13, 2013
Great title for this Ritenour work. Lee really cooks up a storm with the help of some fantastic sidemen and is welcome change from some of his other CD's. Lots of talent and lots of Rhythm here...
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on December 23, 2012
This is a great album from Lee & a worthy follow-up to his previous effort called 6 string theory. Like the previous album, Lee packs this album with well-known faces including George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin, Nathan East, Will Kennedy, Marcus Miller, Christian McBride & many more great session players. But despite the big names, it's the composing skills of Lee that is prominent here whether it's his own tune or others. Lee really seems to have made a strong comeback with his last two albums. He seemed to have lost it musically in the albums prior to this but the 'FIRE' is back. I've been listening to it for the last few months & find it refreshing each time. Lee succeeds in using all the talented bass players to optimum use - they are at least 8 of them ! Also Kudos to Lee for promoting young talent in this album - he's featured a lot of promising fresh new artists (winner of a competition) on the track PUNTA DEL SOUL which is a re-worked version from the DAVE GRUSIN album called MIGRATION....This is one of the better jazz releases in 2012. Don't miss it I say !
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on January 16, 2013
Lee Ritenour is an accomplished guitarist and session player who has graced so many jazz/pop/rock recordings I lost count. When I saw the concept for this record - reuniting with a lot of the master musicians he has played with in the past mostly the 70's and 80's it peaked my interest. Sorry but Lee just plays it way too safe. This has always been a complaint of mine with his approach. I have probably bought 10 of his recordings 3 remain in my collection. This is not a bad recording just very forgettable in general. His tune with George Duke and Stanley Clarke is really nice, but dredging up Corea's "Children Song" is a real question mark. His solos sound like they were written not improvised on much of this CD. Like Larry Carlton, Lee does much better on other folks projects. I'm sure his fans will disagree but I would not recommend this CD.
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