|Birth name||Lee Mack Ritenour|
|Born||January 11, 1952|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz-funk, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, producer|
|Labels||Epic, Elektra, GRP, PolyGram, Decca, Peak, Concord, Discovery|
Ritenour was born on January 11, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, United States. At the age of eight he started playing guitar and four years later decided on a career in music. When he was 16 he played on his first recording session with the Mamas & the Papas. He developed a love for jazz and was influenced by guitarist Wes Montgomery. At the age of 17 he worked with Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. He studied classical guitar at the University of Southern California.
Ritenour's solo career began with the album First Course (1976), a good example of the jazz-funk sound of the 1970s, followed by Captain Fingers, The Captain's Journey (1978), and Feel the Night (1979).
In 1979, he "was brought in to beef up" one of Pink Floyd's The Wall's heaviest rock numbers, "Run Like Hell". He played "uncredited rhythm guitar" on "One of My Turns". As the 1980s began, Ritenour began to add stronger elements of pop to his music, beginning with Rit (1981). Rit became his only release to chart in Australia, peaking at number 98. "Is It You" with vocals by Eric Tagg reached No. 15 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 27 on the Soul chart. The track peaked at number fifteen on Hot Adult Contemporary chart. He continued with the pop-oriented music for Rit/2 (1982) and Banded Together (1984), while releasing a Direct-Disk instrumental album in 1983 called On the Line. He also provided rhythm guitar on Tom Browne's album Funkin' for Jamaica. He recorded Harlequin (1985) with Dave Grusin and vocals by Ivan Lins. His next album, Earth Run, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. The album's title track was also Grammy nominated in the category of Best Instrumental Composition. Portrait (GRP, 1987) included guest performances by the Yellowjackets, Djavan, and Kenny G.
In 1988, his Brazilian influence came to the forefront on Festival, an album featuring his work on nylon-string guitar. He changed direction with his straight-ahead jazz album Stolen Moments which he recorded with saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Harvey Mason. During the same year, he composed the theme song for the Canadian TV series Ramona.
In 1991 Ritenour and keyboardist Bob James formed the group Fourplay. He left the group in 1997 and was replaced by Larry Carlton. He released the career retrospective Overtime in 2005. Smoke n' Mirrors came out the next year with the debut of his thirteen-year-old son, Wesley, on drums.
Celebrating his fifty years as a guitarist in 2010, Ritenour released 6 String Theory, a title that refers to six musical areas covered by the use of guitar.
Lee Ritenour’s first few solo albums consisted entirely of instrumentals. Beginning with Captain Fingers (1977), Ritenour used vocalists on many of his songs:
Ritenour has received one Grammy award out of sixteen nominations.
- Album of the Year, Jazziz magazine (2010)
- Best International Instrumentalist, Echo Jazz Award (2011)
|Title||Peak chart positions||Label|
|1977||Sugar Loaf Express||—||—||JVC|
|1978||The Captain's Journey||78||—||Elektra|
|1979||Feel the Night||136||—||Discovery|
|1983||On the Line||—||—||GRP|
|1985||Harlequin, with Dave Grusin||192||—||GRP|
|1995||Larry & Lee, with Larry Carlton||—||4||GRP|
|1997||Alive in L.A.||—||18||GRP|
|1998||This Is Love||—||4||I.E. Music|
|2003||World of Brazil||—||—||GRP|
|2006||Smoke 'n' Mirrors||—||10||Peak|
|2008||Amparo, with Dave Grusin||—||—||Decca|
|2010||6 String Theory||—||—||Concord|
|2015||A Twist of Rit||—||3||Concord|
|2020||Dreamcatcher||—||—||The Players Club|
|1981||"Countdown Captain Fingers"||43||Dance|
|"Is It You"||15||Hot 100|
|1982||"Cross My Heart"||69|
|1993||"Waiting in Vain" (ft. Maxi Priest)||54||R&B|
|2007||"Smoke 'n' Mirrors"||27||Smooth Jazz|
|"Forget Me Nots"||14|
|2010||"Shape of My Heart" (Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather & Andy McKee)||19|
|"Put the Top Down" (Dave Koz ft. Lee Ritenour)||1|
|2012||"Roadtrip" (Michael Lington ft. Lee Ritenour)||3|
|"L.A. by Bike"||15|
|2015||"A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That"||5|
- Fourplay (Warner Bros., 1991)
- Between the Sheets (Warner Bros., 1993)
- Elixir (Warner Bros., 1995)
- Best of Fourplay (Warner Bros., 1997)
- Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (Denon, 1988)
- Norwegian Wood, Vol. 2 (Denon, 1994)
- GRP All-Star Big Band (GRP, 1992)
- 1977 "Strawberry Letter 23" from the album Right On Time by Brothers Johnson
- 1987 Joyride - track 6 "Midi Citi" - (En Pointe)
- 1985 American Flyer (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with Greg Mathieson - GRP
- "Biography". Lee Ritenour. January 24, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "Lee Ritenour". Allmusic.com.
- "Lee Ritenour". Grammy.com.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1018. ISBN 978-1-85227-745-1.
- Blake, Mark (2008). Comfortably Numb. Da Capo Press. pp. 270–. ISBN 978-1-56858-383-9. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. Omnibus Press. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-0-7119-4301-8. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- "Inside the Mind of Pink Floyd: David Gilmour". Guitar. September 1995. Archived from the original on December 30, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 253. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 494.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 205. The videos for "Is It You" and "Mr. Briefcase" were both amongst the first videos played on MTV on August 1, 1981.
- "Earth Run". AllMusic. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Lee Ritenour: Portrait". allmusic.com.
- "Lee Ritenour Discusses His "6 String Theory"". Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- "Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- "The Independent Music Awards Announces Judges for 9th Annual IMAs | MicControl". Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "11th Annual IMA Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- "She & Him, The Black Keys, Mark Hoppus, Aimee Mann and Bettye LaVette Join Judging Panel for the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards". Top40-charts.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- "Lee Ritenour Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
- "Lee Ritenour Chart History: Jazz Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
- "Lee Ritenour Chart History". Billboard.