Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lee Ritenour

Lee Mack "Captain Fingers" Ritenour (born January 11, 1952) is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, recording artist, composer and producer. He began his career at 16 as a session player. He has appeared on over 3000 sessions & recorded 40 solo and collaboration albums. He had a world wide hit with "Is It You" in 1981.

Ritenour holds the distinction of having two of the promotional videos for his songs ("Is It You," and "Mr. Briefcase") being played during MTV's first hour. He is engaged to Japanese singer-songwriter Anri. His music is heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery. Not only has he paid frequent tributes to his hero, his son, born in 1993, is named Wesley.

Ritenour was born January 11, 1952 in Los Angeles, California. He played his first session when he was 16 with the Mamas and the Papas. Nicknamed "Captain Fingers", he was a sought-after session guitarist by the mid-1970s and won Guitar Player Magazines Best Studio Guitarist twice in the 70's. He is noted for playing his red Gibson ES-335 and his Gibson L5 guitars. One of his most notable influences is the pioneering jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. In 1976, he released his first solo album, First Course. This was followed up by his fusion work Captain Fingers in 1976. Since First Course he has released over 30 albums — the 30th being Rit's House in 2002. One of his most notable works is his pop album (featuring vocalist Eric Tagg) 1981 Rit, which contained chart hits "Is It You," and "Mr. Briefcase." In the 90s, he was one of the founding members of group Fourplay. He was nominated for 17 Grammy's , won one, plus many other Number #1 guitar polls throughout the world.

Throughout his career, Ritenour has experimented with different styles of music. He has often incorporated elements of funk, pop, rock, blues and Brazilian music with jazz (to the dislike of some critics). In the early 1980s, Ritenour was given his own Ibanez signature model guitar, the LR-10. The LR-10 was produced from 1981 to 1987. It can be heard exclusively on his album Rit. Currently, Ritenour plays the Gibsons that he first played in the 1970s (the ES-335 and L5), and now also plays his signature Lee Ritenour Model archtop guitar made by Gibson.

First Course 1976
Gentle Thoughts 1977
Captain Fingers 1977
Sugar Loaf Express (with Eric Gale) 1977
Friendship (Different to 1979 release) 1978
The Captain's Journey 1978
Friendship 1977
Rio 1979
Feel the Night 1979
Rit 1981
Rit, Vol. 2 1982
On the Line 1983
Banded Together 1984
Harlequin (w/Dave Grusin) 1985
On the Line 1985
Earth Run 1986
Portrait 1987
Festival 1988
Color Rit 1989
Stolen Moments 1990
Joyride 1991
Wes Bound 1992
Lee Ritenour and His Gentle Thoughts 1992
Larry & Lee (with Larry Carlton) 1994
Alive in L.A. 1997
This Is Love i.e. 1998
Rit's House 2002
Friendship/The Captain's Journey 2005
Rio/On the Line 2005
Overtime 2005
World of Brazil 2005
Smoke n’ Mirrors 2006

Official Website

Lee Ritenour - Night Rhythms

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