It's not the first time Lee and Dave have worked together. In fact, they've been collaborating for more than two decades, from the music for the 1970s' television series "Baretta" to their critically-acclaimed duet album "Harlequin." Lee Ritenour says their new release, "Two Worlds", is literally a meeting of two musical worlds.
Ritenour said, "We worked on the album quite a long time last year. It was quite a challenge for us musically, because we both had such an appreciation for classical music and we wanted to make sure that we treated the classical pieces that we played on the CD with the utmost respect and the utmost validity. And yet, we still wanted to find a way to bring our personalities into the music."
Most tracks on the album feature a variety of classical and jazz musicians, such as flutist James Walker on Manuel de Falla's "Suite Popular Espanola."
Classical singer Renee Fleming is featured on a selection by Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos. By coincidence, Lee and Dave rehearsed it at the home of another famous composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim.
"Jobim had been an associate of Villa-Lobos and was influenced by Villa-Lobos," Ritenour said. "And then Jobim was friends of Dave with I, and as a matter of fact, when we were rehearsing with Renee Fleming in New York City for the Villa-Lobos, we rehearsed at Tom Jobim's apartment. Even though he had passed away his wife still has the apartment. So it was an interesting connection, that here we were rehearsing Villa-Lobos at Jobim's house."
Mr. Ritenour said, "For Dave and I, who have fused so many styles together over 20 or 30 years of making albums and CDs, this was almost like a full circle. Because both as students we started off heavy with classical backgrounds and have used those skills in our jazz music throughout the years. But we never really touched on a whole album like this."
In addition to performing selections by Bartok and Bach, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin contribute several originals, including Ritenour's "Lagrima." An encore webcast of Lee and Dave's recent "Two Worlds" concert can be accessed at www.universalclassics.com.