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Album Review

Forging a unique creative relationship, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin's mutual professional history extends back some two decades. Ritenour was a core artist on Grusin's label, GRP, throughout the 1980s and early '90s; in 1986, they first collaborated on the Grammy Award winning Harlequin, a critically-acclaimed, Brazilian-themed recording. Ritenour also appeared on many of the pianist/composer's film scores and solo recordings, and the two jammed together on GRP Super Live in 1987. Two Worlds, the classical-oriented labor of love that reunites the two legends, is more than simply a beautiful creative departure from their usual jazz-oriented projects. A blend of original compositions and respectful reworkings of timeless classics from Bach, Bartok, Villalobos, Mompov, and Segovia, the collection — which features stellar guest performances by opera star Renee Fleming, violinist Gil Shaham, and cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber — finds Ritenour and Grusin joyously reconnecting with their rich classical roots. Among the highlights are the lush, highly percussive Vivaldi/Bach piece "Bach Concerto, featuring a twenty-piece string section; "Bachianas Aria," a piece from Brazilian composer Villalobos, provides a showcase for opera diva Renee Fleming. As for the original compositions, there's the haunting, melodic "Elegia," which Grusin composed many years ago for his late father, a violinist, featuring Gil Shaham; "Lagrima (Lee's Prelude)," a graceful Ritenour original led by the classical guitar; "River's Song," Grusin's clever medley adaptation of the folk songs "The Water Is Wide" and "Shenandoah," featuring Fleming on vocals and "Canto," an Italian-styled "winter song" which Grusin originally wrote for a Ritenour project in the late '70s. Timeless yet contemporary, Two Worlds is beautiful reunion of these musical soul mates. [A Japanese version added a bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

A Very Good Album

This album is a wonderful surprise. I am a fan of Ritenour and a like Grusin a lot. Lee Ritenour is definitely one of the best jazz guitarists out there-- no doubt. He has done a lot for the genre and is always doing something new. A verey experimental guitarist and that is a particularly distinctive quality is ANY great guitarist. Grusin has always leaned towards the Classical side in his work so him being in this genre is no surprise. But it is with Ritenour! The two musicians are naturally gifted to not only work together but work together in this genre! What a wonderful album!!! Classical guitar is sometimes quite mundane-- as the tones often vary very little-- but Ritenour has circumvented this with sparse, meaningful playing. He never shows off. He speaks loudly with a few words. Another sign of greatness. The same goes for Grusin. His playing is problably the most emotive of his career. Just sublime. The orchestration is first-rate even though at times a little too ornamental (Bachianas Brasileiras No 4. Prelude). But it never overwhelms and is often a great accompaniment to the main instruments. If you want to hear very emotive music, and really listen to wondeful sublteties, this is an awesome llisten. If you're looking for easy listening, background music-- do yourself and the artsists a favor-- go elsewhere. This is music to enjoy, savor and contemplate. It is not mindless sounds.

Two Worlds

This is a very eclectic CD that I feel would only appeal to classical and experimental jazz fans; however, it is worth it just for "River Songs: The Water Is Wide/Shenandoah" If Ms Flemings singing and the Grusin arrangements don't give you the shivers, you're either mute or dead.

million thanks to Ritenour and Gruisin

i wish there is more of this - classical fused with jazz, masterfully done with great artists

Biography

Born: June 26, 1934 in Denver, CO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dave Grusin has been a highly successful performer, producer, composer, record label executive, arranger, and bandleader. As a pianist, Grusin tends toward the fusion and smooth end of jazz, but he's primarily an accomplished film and television soundtrack composer. Grusin played with Terry Gibbs and Johnny Smith while studying at the University of Colorado. He was the assistant music director and pianist for Andy Williams from 1959 to 1966, and then started his television composing career. Grusin...
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