Legendary American musician Lee Ritenour first came to our attention during the 70s jazz rock fusion days, showcasing his amazing dexterity and musicality with the guitar on era-defining albums such as First Course and Captain Fingers. From one of his first sessions at 16 with the Mamas and Papas to accompanying Lena Horne and Tony Bennett at 18, his forty year eclectic and storied career is highlighted by a Grammy Award win for his 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin, Harlequin; 17 Grammy nominations; numerous #1 spots in guitar polls and the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award from USC. He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, notably the Top 15 hit “Is It You,” which has become a contemporary jazz radio classic. Lee’s current album is A Twist Of Rit, on which he revisits and reworks songs from some of his earliest albums and also presents a selection of new tunes.
Tom Kennedy is an accomplished touring and studio musician who ranks as one of the top acoustic and electric bass players in the world. His credits include performances and recordings with both mainstream legends and leading contemporary players. Tom has released four solo CDs: Basses Loaded in 1996, Bassics in 2004 featuring Mundell Lowe and Joe LaBarbera, Just for the Record in 2011, featuring Dave Weckl and Mike Stern, and Just Play! in 2013 featuring Lee Ritenour, Renee Rosnes and George Garzone. Tom is currently in Australia as part of the Lee Ritenour band.
Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips sat down for a chat with both Lee Ritenour and Tom Kennedy backstage at Melbourne’s newest jazz club Bird’s Basement, where the Lee Ritenour band is playing a week long residency. Watch the interview below!