Rhythm Sessions (Concord Records, 2012)
Musician and composer Lee Ritenour has released one of the best jazz guitar albums of the year. Rhythm Sessions is landmark album that brings together renowned musicians from the fusion and contemporary jazz scene together with rising talent; the winners of Ritenour’s Annual Six String Theory International Competition.
“I always thought it’s a very cool model to combine very well-known, almost legendary players with completely new talent on the same record,” says Lee Ritenour. “I love that scenario. It’s not a format that many people have followed before, but I’ve always considered it a fascinating experiment, and a way to create some great sounds.”
Familiar names include iconic musicians such as Chick Corea (keyboards), George Duke (keyboards), Stanley Clarke (bass), Dave Grusin (piano), Marcus Miller (bass), Vinnie colaiuta (drums) and many more. Also included in Rhythm Sessions are the winners of the 2012 Rhythm Section Competition, an international event Lee Ritenour launched in 2009 as a guitar competition and later expanded to include aspiring keyboardists, bassists and percussionists. The winners featured on the album are keyboardist Hans de Wild (Holland), pianist Demetrius Nabors (Michigan, USA), bassist Michael Feinberg (New York, USA) and drummer Selim Munir (Turkey). Rhythm Sessions also includes Lee Ritenour’s 19-year-old son Wesley, a skilled drummer, on one of the tracks.
The music is a real treat. With a jazz foundation, Ritenour and his colleagues take the listener into tasty funk, dazzling state of the art fusion, laid back blues, vibrant rock, and global rhythms territory. Lee Ritenour composed some of the material. Other pieces are by Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin, Chick Corea, EST and Nick Drake. Throughout the album, Lee Ritenour shows his admirable skill on the guitar, with engaging solos and solid rhythmic techniques.
“I wanted the various rhythm sections assembled for this album – the guitar, keyboards, bass and drums – to be very organic,” describes 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.”
Rhythm Sessions is an irresistible album by eclectic jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and mentor Lee Ritenour.
Buy Rhythm Sessions in North America.
Buy Rhythm Sessions in Europe