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Lee Ritenour

Lee RitenourAKA Lee Mack Ritenour

Born: 1-Nov-1952
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Jazz Musician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Jazz-fusion guitarist

Prolific and highly-regarded as both a bandleader and session musician, Lee "Captain Fingers" Ritenour has long been a fixture in the jazz scene. Trained in both jazz and classical styles during his youth, Ritenour landed his first professional session at the age of 16, when he recorded for The Mamas and the Papas. From there he moved more towards the jazz areas he would later become known for, supporting well-established names such as Tony Bennett and Lena Horne.

Early in his career, Ritenour began exploring Brazilian music and integrating it into his playing; in 1973, he joined Sergio Mendes' band Brasil '77 and had the opportunity to develop this approach during a lengthy tour. Before long, the guitarist had become one of the most sought-after session musicians in L.A., recording with such a huge and diverse roster of performers that doubtless even he couldn't name them all anymore. In the jazz field, he has worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and George Benson; in the rock field, he has contributed to recordings by Steely Dan and Pink Floyd. Blues artists such as B. B. King and Ray Charles have brought him in as a supporting player, as have singers Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Peggy Lee and Aretha Franklin. Among his many film credits are contributions to Taxi Driver, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Saturday Night Fever. The list continues to grow with each year.

In 1976 Ritenour released First Course, his first album under his own name. Concurrent with his session schedule, he has maintained an busy solo and collaborative career ever since, with 30 albums having been stacked in his catalog by 2004. In addition to his other efforts, he has kept active in the popular contemporary jazz ensemble Fourplay since 1991.

    Brasil '77 Guitarist 1973
    Steely Dan Guitarist
    Fourplay Guitarist 1991-present

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