Richard E. Aaron
Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour stopped by Jazz24's new studio last month.
Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour stopped by Jazz24's new studio last month. Richard E. Aaron
With his new CD, 6 String Theory, Lee Ritenour celebrates 50 years as a guitarist. But for Ritenour, that half-century started when he first began learning to play the instrument at age 8. A few years later, though, he was a teenage studio musician on his way to becoming a Grammy-winning pioneer of jazz, rock and funk fusion.
When Ritenour came into the KPLU/Jazz24 studios on an unseasonably cool August afternoon, he arrived with a rhythm section hot enough to raise Seattle's temperature a few degrees: drummer Will Kennedy and bassist Melvin Davis. Together, they laid down three delightful tracks: "Water's Edge," "L.P. — For Les Paul" and Freddie Hubbard's composition, "Povo." Along the way, Ritenour talked with jazz host Abe Beeson about his early years as a studio guitarist and described how the music scene has changed over the course of his career. Ritenour also discussed traveling the world and even hosting a talent contest to get all the guest guitarists he wanted for his latest recording project.