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Lee Ritenour|A Twist Of Rit

A Twist Of Rit

Lee Ritenour

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Released in conjunction with a five-LP vinyl box set of some of his classic albums, guitarist Lee Ritenour's 2015 studio effort, A Twist of Rit, finds him looking back over his career, revisiting and reworking songs from some of his earliest albums. In fact, many of the songs here were culled off his debut record, 1975's First Course. Joining Ritenour on A Twist of Rit are such longtime collaborators as pianist Dave Grusin, drummer Dave Weckl, saxophonist Ernie Watts, and Fender Rhodes keyboardist John Beasley. Also featured is classical guitarist Tony Pusztai, who took home the grand prize in Ritenour's 2014 Six String Theory competition. Musically, this is soulful, groove-oriented jazz that will be familiar to most of Ritenour's longtime fans. And while many of the cuts on A Twist of Rit are reworked versions of older songs like "Wild Rice," "Fatback," and "Sweet Syncopation," they've been given new arrangements (hence, the "twist") and sound as contemporary as anything off Ritenour's previous Concord album, 2012's Rhythm Sessions. The transformation works especially well on the melody for "Soaring," off 1986's Earth Run. Originally played on the MIDI-controlled SynthAxe, here Ritenour sticks to a rounded, more natural guitar tone for a nuanced, modern fusion sound. Nonetheless, cuts like the sultry "Ooh Yeah" and the organic "A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That," replete with a hard-hitting R&B horn section, retain much of the breezy '70s soul style that made them sound so fresh to begin with. Similarly, "Countdown" from 1985's Rit, Vol. 1 and "Bullet Train" from 1979's Friendship 2 have the loose, congenial vibe of old friends reuniting. Ultimately, A Twist of Rit works to remind listeners of Ritenour's legacy as one of the driving innovators of instrumental smooth jazz.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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A Twist Of Rit

Lee Ritenour

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1
Wild Rice
00:05:31

Patrice Rushen, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Thompson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Melvin Davis, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Clavichord, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Watts, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Rashawn Ross, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Wendell Kelly, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Schroeder, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Bruner Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Luer, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
Fatback
00:05:51

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
Ooh Yeah
00:05:01

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
W.O.R.K.n’ IT (Weckl, Ozone, Ritenour, Kennedy)
00:07:51

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That
00:05:36

Michael Thompson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Melvin Davis, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer, Digital Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Watts, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Rashawn Ross, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Grusin, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Wendell Kelly, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Schroeder, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Bruner Jr., Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Pearl
00:04:50

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
Twist Of Rit
00:05:38

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
Countdown
00:04:51

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
Soaring
00:08:10

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
Sweet Syncopation
00:05:28

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

11
Bullet Train
00:06:36

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - Ernie Watts, ComposerLyricist - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

12
Waltz For Carmen
00:04:59

John Beasley, Producer, Co-Producer - LEE RITENOUR, Producer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mitch Holder, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2015 Concord Music Group, Inc.

Album Description

Released in conjunction with a five-LP vinyl box set of some of his classic albums, guitarist Lee Ritenour's 2015 studio effort, A Twist of Rit, finds him looking back over his career, revisiting and reworking songs from some of his earliest albums. In fact, many of the songs here were culled off his debut record, 1975's First Course. Joining Ritenour on A Twist of Rit are such longtime collaborators as pianist Dave Grusin, drummer Dave Weckl, saxophonist Ernie Watts, and Fender Rhodes keyboardist John Beasley. Also featured is classical guitarist Tony Pusztai, who took home the grand prize in Ritenour's 2014 Six String Theory competition. Musically, this is soulful, groove-oriented jazz that will be familiar to most of Ritenour's longtime fans. And while many of the cuts on A Twist of Rit are reworked versions of older songs like "Wild Rice," "Fatback," and "Sweet Syncopation," they've been given new arrangements (hence, the "twist") and sound as contemporary as anything off Ritenour's previous Concord album, 2012's Rhythm Sessions. The transformation works especially well on the melody for "Soaring," off 1986's Earth Run. Originally played on the MIDI-controlled SynthAxe, here Ritenour sticks to a rounded, more natural guitar tone for a nuanced, modern fusion sound. Nonetheless, cuts like the sultry "Ooh Yeah" and the organic "A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That," replete with a hard-hitting R&B horn section, retain much of the breezy '70s soul style that made them sound so fresh to begin with. Similarly, "Countdown" from 1985's Rit, Vol. 1 and "Bullet Train" from 1979's Friendship 2 have the loose, congenial vibe of old friends reuniting. Ultimately, A Twist of Rit works to remind listeners of Ritenour's legacy as one of the driving innovators of instrumental smooth jazz.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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