Reviewer: Paul Downham
When you are considered to be the pioneer of contemporary jazz you need to surround yourself with some pretty talented musicians and judging by the talent on show tonight at the Band on the Wall in Manchester, Lee Ritenour has certainly done just that.
Lee’s ability to hypnotise you with his guitar playing is seemingly an effortless task according to the reaction of the capacity crowd in this perfect intimate setting. Drawing from over 42 albums there was also no shortage of material to choose from. The first act featured a selection of tracks from his earlier albums while the second half focussed more on the latest award winning album, ‘Lee Ritenour’s 6 String Theory’.
On stage Lee is joined by bass player Tom Kennedy and drummer Chris Coleman who displayed they are without question masters of their craft with drummer Chris performing some mind blowing solo sequences which really did have to be witnessed to be believed.
The final member of the on stage foursome was the 12 time Grammy and Oscar winning Dave Grusin. Dave has written many movie scores including ‘On Golden Pond’, ‘Tootsie’ and ‘The Goonies’ and despite being nearly 80 years of age showed absolutely no evidence of this fact.
This year’s Manchester Fringe Festival have scored a major coup bringing this collaboration to the region and judging by the enthusiastic response from the audience it is this reviewers prediction that it won’t be long before they return. The only critique of the evening is that Dave Grusin seemed a little isolated on stage seemingly far away from his other three band mates.
Following the performance Lee and Dave spent time in the foyer mixing with the fans and signing many an autograph, a nice salute to their fans and most appreciated by all.