Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lee Ritenour - Rio (1979)


Wow, that's a lot of hair on the CD cover. Well, it was the late '70s. In the '70s and '80s, Ritenour was a highly sought after session guitarist that released the occasional solo LP. Extremely technically adept, his nickname is Captain Fingers. For this release, Rit puts down his electric guitar and put together an acoustic set that is derivative of Brazilian music with brief lapses into pseudo-Carribean music. Ritenour's guitar work is beautiful, but he is playing it very safe here and the music can lapse into elevator music at times.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #163
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #178

Tracks: While some of the 7 tracks sound more Brazilian than others, they're all somewhat enjoyable. Maybe "comfortable" is a better word to describe them. The more successful tracks are San Juan Sunset, It Happens Everyday, and Simplicidad. High on the cheesy scale: Rio Funk. With only 7 tracks and a 38 minute running time, you can tell this was originally a vinyl release.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This album was originally recorded by JVC for the Japanese market (1979), first released in the U.S. on the Elektra Musician label (1982), and finally on GRP (1985). In the mid '80s, I dubbed a cassette of this release from a friend's album. He had the 1982 US release on vinyl, which had the understated cover pictured below. The cover that GRP used has just never seemed right to me. If memory serves, the track sequence was different as well as the cover. Nice work, GRP .

Believe it or not, I subjected my wife to this sort of music while we dated and she stayed with me anyway.

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