Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin live at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2013, March 1st - A3 Hall, JiExpo Kemayoran, Indonesia. Guitar Player Magazine awarded him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2010. His highly acclaimed and popular 2010 hit album Lee Ritenour's 6 String Theory had numerous awards in 2011 including, Guitar Album of the Year – Guitar International Magazine. UK’s Guitarist Magazine: The No. 1 Best 50 Guitar Albums of 2010. JAZZIZ Magazine Publisher’s Album of the Year. Top Albums of 2010 from Canada’s “The Guardian”. Lee was awarded at the 2011 Echo Awards in Germany (the German Grammy awards) for Best International Instrumentalist (Guitar) in conjunction with the album, 6 String Theory)
In 1981 Ritenour’s album titled Rit put him in the pop music spotlight and crossed over seven different music charts, including rhythm and blues, disco, adult contemporary, and jazz. And Festival, his highly successful 1988 LP, took the Number One position on seven music charts. The album, which featured outstanding Brazilian artists Joao Bosco and Caetano Veloso as well as various New York studio musicians, prompted David Hiltbrand in People to cite Ritenour as "the first among equals, smoothing and fusing." Phyl Garland in Stereo Review stated that "Ritenour’s ever-impeccable technique applied to this superior material" makes the album "one of his best recorded efforts."
"I think there’s a certain maturity level among some musicians that, maybe they feel the limitations of the contemporary thing a little bit," Ritenour mused to James Jones IV in a 1990 Down Beat interview, after the release of his straightlaced jazz album, Stolen Moments. "Maybe we need a breath of fresh air, a little bit of a break." Critics were caught off guard by the record, which lacks the technology and Brazilian influence prevalent on his previous albums. "Mouths are dropping" wrote Jones, but Stereo Review affirmed Ritenour’s purpose: "This is real jazz, performed in a high style that knows no time frame." Stolen Moments reflects Ritenour’s departure from the cloning process he sees beginning in fusion—the tendency of record labels to consistently market a repetitive type of album. Jim Ferguson in Guitar Player commended the musician for his originality: "Much more than a derivative rehashing of old styles, the album sparkles with the freshness of a player eager to try out new ideas in a freer setting."
b. Lee Mack Ritenour, 11 January 1952, Los Angeles, CA, USA. The prolific Ritenour has established himself as one of the world's leading jazz guitarists with a series of accessible albums over three decades. Starting at the age of 16, Ritenour played his first session with The Mama's and the Papa's. Two years later he was backing Tony Bennett and Lena Horne at L.A.'s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Know as “Captain Fingers,” Ritenour became a sought-after session player in the mid-70's. Starting in 1976, at the age of 24, he began his own solo career which now includes over 30 albums and collaborations. Although heavily influenced in his early days by the relaxed styles of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Barney Kessel, he now has his own distinctive sound and fluid style. His list of session work is awesome (some 3,000 sessions), but some of his notable performances were with Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Pink Floyd. Since the mid-80's Ritenour has been strongly influenced by Brazilian music.