Lee Ritenour

Banded Together

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Lee Ritenour goes techno/pop/rock on an album originally released on the pop Elektra label -- and as such is not recommended to jazz fans with a low tolerance for the stuff. Here Captain Fingers extends his reach to play keyboards and programmed electronic drums on a few tracks, along with very competent rock guitar -- to little effect, for the material is just not very interesting. Indeed, in a telling move, two songs from the previous record, On the Line, are actually recycled here ("Rit Variations II," " Heavenly Bodies"); the former comes off a little better in machine-driven, techno-pop manner. Ernie Watts' protean sax talents are wasted, Eric Tagg and John Massaro's high-pitched pop voices are hard to tell apart without a scorecard, and the largely electronic backing never meets a real groove that it can find. And no hits result anyway.

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