I start with Lee Ritenour a guitarist from the West Coast whose playing was used by many great musicians from mid-seventies on until today.
His Wes Bound album from the early nineties is a dignified tribute to one of the greatest guitarists; Wes Montgomery, a jazzman who influenced perhaps all guitar players with his unique technique (using the thumb as a plectrum to play melody lines in octaves).
Eleven tracks, over fifty minutes of music that I evaluate as essential and rather refreshing. Mr. Ritenour is a very versatile guitarist with a special taste and is able to satisfy the needs of every musician who has ever worked with him. He is also very creative and influential. A great album, is this one indeed, a combination of Montgomery’s famous pieces (Four to Six, Road Song, etc) and Ritenour’s four numbers and one of Bob Marley’s.
Again, a great set of musicians (Harvey Mason (drums) Bob James (piano), plus big string, brass and a woodwinds band. Four to Six was always one of my favorite numbers of Wes Montgomery and on this album is played with fantastic energy by Ronnie Forster on a Hammond B3.
For a cherry on the top, listen to Lee Ritenour playing Bob Marley’s "Waiting in vain" sung by Maxi Priest. Some of you may say "what a commercial sh*t like this has to do with a jazz album?". But I say you’re full of it! It fits into the general feel of this album! You know, easy-listening Californian kinda music. What to add? It is very well produced album and I advise to y’all to sit back and enjoy this remarkable CD of contemporary grooves combined with the timeless music of Wes Montgomery. I’m sure it will put some light in these rather gloomy days. Five stars is what Lee Ritenour deserves and five he gets!