Captain Fingers Celebrates 40 Years of Records
Lee Ritenour is seen in United Recording’s renowned Studio B. Photo by David Goggin.
Grammy-winning guitarist Lee Ritenour has released his new album, “A Twist of Rit”, commemorating 40 years since his debut recording, “First Course”, on Epic Records. “A Twist of Rit”, just released via Concord Records, is a magnificent follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2012 album “Rhythm Sessions”.
“The concept for ‘A Twist of Rit’ combines new material and tunes selected from earlier albums,” explained Ritenour. “We twisted, flipped and reconstructed those songs with a twelve-piece band. Several of the songs are from my very first album, ‘First Course’, recorded in 1975 and the ‘Rit’ album in 1980.”
Recorded in part in United Recording’s renowned Studio B, “A Twist of Rit” spotlights Ritenour with several long-time musical cohorts, including keyboardists John Beasley, Dave Grusin and Patrice Rushen; saxophonist Ernie Watts; bassists Melvin Lee Davis, Tom Kennedy; and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa. That core group is augmented by drummers Dave Weckl, Ronald Bruner Jr. and Chris Coleman, along with Bob Sheppard on saxophone and Rashawn Ross playing flugelhorn. Joining Ritenour for the first time are guitarists Michael Thompson, Wah Wah Watson and David T. Walker, plus Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone.
“A Twist of Rit” features Ritenour’s soaring guitar lines with 12 of his compositions ranging from the funky fusion and sophisticated jazz that he has become so well known for. All of the material was captured by his longtime Grammy Award-winning engineer Don Murray and the tracks were recorded with everyone performing together, old-school, but with modern, state-of-the-art recording techniques.
“People like Ernie, Patrice, Dave and John Beasley, who worked closely on [my album] Wes Bound – along with Melvin Davis and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, go back with me to the very beginning,” Ritenour says. “Ernie had been on so many of my projects. And, of course, I couldn’t do this without Dave Grusin, who is my best buddy, and who has been involved in almost all of my recordings. All of these people are very close friends of mine. We’ve had this musical mafia for twenty, thirty, forty years.”
With his formidable fellow travelers, Ritenour revisits several selections from his iconic albums including “First Course” (1976), “Friendship” (1978) – an LP consisting of the Ritenour-led super-group that included Ernie Watts, Don Grusin, drummer Alex Acuna, percussionist Steve Forman, and bassist Abraham Laboriel – “Rit, Vol.1” (1981), “Earth Run” (1986), “Stolen Moments” (1990) and “This Is Love” (1998).
“A Twist of Rit” aurally illustrates Ritenour’s delicate balance of maintaining his individuality while working with an array of diverse artists. “Even though I was a studio player, I was trying to establish my own identity,” he says. “The live thing is just as important as the studio thing. And when I did my first album, where a lot of the songs [on this album] are from, in 1975, I didn’t think I had a ‘Lee Ritenour sound.’ But then, a few years later, I listened to the record, and I realized that wow, I did have my own sound then.”
Along with “A Twist of Rit”, Concord Records will release a five LP vinyl box set of some of Ritenour’s classic records, including “Wes Bound”, “Festival”, “Color Rit”, “Portrait” and “Earth Run”. Ritenour will be touring and promoting these projects throughout 2015/16.
About United Recording
United Recording was founded in 1957 by the legendary recording engineer and electronics inventor Bill Putnam with the backing of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. The studios were acquired and renamed Ocean Way Recording in 1977,
and after acquisition in 2013 by Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc., were re-launched under the original name in 2014. United Recording, one of the world’s most recognized music recording studios, with more awards than any other recording enterprise, is responsible for record sales of more than one billion units.
Learn more at: http://www.unitedrecordingstudios.com/