Ritenour and Grusin are back with Amparo, which interprets classical standards, includes two originals, and overall is inspired by a romantic South American sensibility. Do they pull it off? Yes, with a big assist from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as Grusin transcribes and arranges Faure, Ravel, Albinoni and Handel, all of whom, if they were alive today, might also be composing the lush movie scores that Grusin composes with ease.
Known to fans as "Captain Fingers" for his uncommon dexterity on the guitar, Lee Ritenour is a noted jazz artist and session musician who has been one of the leaders in his field since the early '70s. Born in Los Angeles, California on January 11, 1952, Ritenour took up the guitar when he was eight years old, and decided to make music his career when he was 12. Ritenour's parents were supportive of his ambitions, and arranged for him to study with some of the best guitar teachers in Southern California.
Guitarist Lee Ritenour has long been associated with Brazilian styles (especially after playing with Sergio Mendes's Brasil '77 in the '70s), and 2005's WORLD OF BRAZIL continues that association to excellent effect. Ritenour's smooth, soulful style lends itself perfectly to bossa nova and samba grooves on this mix of originals and covers (including, not surprisingly, several tunes by the genre's greatest composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim). But one of the things that makes WORLD OF BRAZIL such a treat is the host of guest stars, which includes keyboardists Herbie Hancock and Dave Grusin, bassist John Pattitucci, singer El Debarge, and percussionist Carlinhos Brown. No less a luminary than Tropicalia pioneer Caetano Veloso appears on his own "Linda," and his sultry tenor sounds as alluring as ever. With its mix of smooth jazz and Brazilian flavors, the overall vibe of this disc is relaxed, sophisticated, and cool.