Contemporary Jazz Guitarist Lee Ritenour Releases Newest Album

Reviewed by Lee Jarmon

Lee Ritenour

Lee Ritenour

After 40 years of being in the music business, iconic jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour has done a relentless amount of recordings throughout his career. His latest album is titled A Twist Of Rit which was released by Concord Music on August 21, 2015. It currently ranks #10 on the top 50 Smooth Jazz charts ( Featured on the album are original tunes from Lee’s earlier projects from the mid-70s. According to his website, the idea was to re-arrange some of his original tunes to more of an updated contemporary sound ( The album has a blend of genres including contemporary jazz, funk, and fusion. Lee Ritenour has out done himself on this project. Featured on this album is iconic keyboardist/composer, Dave Grusin, bassist Melvin Davis, Dave Weckl and Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums, saxophonist/composer, Tom Scott, guitarist “Wah-Wah” Watson and many others. Some of the featured songs such as “Ooh Yeah” and “A Little Bit of This” does give you that old school sound with a lot funk and soul. The horn arrangements are magnificently beautiful and the rhythm is tight. Ritenour also introduces a guest performer on new his album. Hungarian guitarist, Tony Puztai, was a grand prize winner of Lee Ritenour’s 2014 Six String Theory Competition.

Lee Ritenour album

Lee Ritenour’s album “A Twist of Rit”

While growing up in Los Angeles, California, in the 60s, the highly acclaimed guitarist was exposed to many musical genres from jazz, rock, and Brazilian music. When he was 16, he started doing session work. At 18, he played guitar for legendary artists like Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. According to Lee’s website, he was nominated 17 times for a Grammy. He received the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award from USC (The University of Southern California). One of his classic songs that became an instant top 15 hit was “Is it You” which has been a constant contemporary jazz radio classic ( During the later years, Lee has recorded and toured with some of the best world- renowned musicians in the world. He is recognized as being one the founding members of the iconic jazz quartet, Fourplay. The group formed in 1991. The original lineup featured keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, drummer Harvey Mason, and Lee on guitar. Their first album spent 33 weeks as #1 on the Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart ( The current lineup still features Bob, Harvey, Nathan, and newest member, guitarist, Chuck Loeb. He is currently is touring and promoting his new album all over the world. This album is truly a masterpiece.


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