News / Arts & Entertainment

Lee Ritenour Gets a Little Help From His Friends for '6 String Theory'

Lee Ritenour Gets a Little Help From His Friends for '6 String Theory'
Lee Ritenour Gets a Little Help From His Friends for '6 String Theory'

Multimedia

Audio
Doug Levine

Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour gets a little help from his friends, namely some of the world's greatest guitar players, on his new album, "6 String Theory."  Lee's all-star showcase is a celebration of the instrument he mastered more than a half-century ago.

Lee Ritenour first learned to play guitar at age eight, and by 16, he was recording with '60's pop stars The Mamas and The Papas.  His prolific studio work commanded thousands of sessions with the best from jazz, rock, pop and blues, and his dexterity on the guitar earned him the nickname "Captain Fingers."

Now 58, Lee is the master of ceremonies on "6 String Theory," working as producer, arranger, composer and performer alongside everyone from Robert Cray and Vince Gill, to Pat Martino, B.B. King and John Scofield.  There's also appearances by bluesmen Johnny Lang, Taj Mahal  and Keb' Mo'; rockers Neal Schon, Joe Bonamassa and Slash; and up-and-coming guitarists Andy McKee, Joe Robinson and Shon Boublil.  Earlier this year, Shon won the Grand Prize at Lee Ritenour's Six String Theory International Guitar Competition.

Lee himself only plays on three of the tracks, saying he wanted to focus on the guitar's unlimited possibilities.

"The guitar is the most evolutionary instrument on the planet.  There's no doubt about it.  In the hands of Segovia, the great classical guitarist, or in the hands of Jimi Hendrix, it's still the guitar, but it's totally different.  So, I wanted everyone to be able to listen to this album [and] make sure that it was musical; and [I] somehow ran [the tracks] together [so] that it was not a hodgepodge of music.  And, it isn't.  When you listen to the music it kind of evolves from one step to the next.  If you listen to the whole album it takes you on a journey, but it's the guitar journey," he said.

When it comes to jazz guitar one of the first names on Lee's wish list was George Benson.

"I wanted George to play some be-bop on this album.  He's so well known for his contemporary jazz and 'smooth' jazz and vocals, but what I really wanted him to do was stretch out and be the legendary Gorge Benson we all know that just 'eats the guitar alive,'" he said.

"I kind of pride myself on being a good producer, arranger and orchestrator, and I'm such a fan of the guitar and I know guitar styles so well; the jazz sound, the rock sound, the blues sound, the classical sound, that I think I was able to put it together the right way," said Ritenour.

Lee Ritenour's upcoming tour includes stops in Japan, Turkey, Ukraine, Holland, Ireland and England.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Los Angeles singer-songwriter Irene Diaz has a modern pop take on the jazz torch-song tradition. She sat down with Larry London on this edition of "Border Crossings" to perform and talk about her music.