Lee Ritenour
6 String Theory


4.0
excellent

Review

by Zedo Kei USER (51 Reviews)
July 19th, 2012 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


Originally, 6 String Theory was meant to be a kind of celebration of Lee Ritenour’s fifty years (2010) as an active jazz guitarist. That it was the story behind his collaboration with the greats like B.B.King, John Scofield, Robert Cray, George Benson and many others. When he thought the line up was incomplete, Lee invited the blues-rock rising star Joe Bonamassa, Guthrie Govan, Joe Robinson, Andy McKee, and also Canadian guitar prodigy Shon Boubil. By looking at the players that are involved in this project, no doubt, this is a party of the masters.

The general flavor presented in 6 String Theory is never too far away from blues, jazz, and rock disciplines. It's quite fine not to ask around about what a certain genre the album presents, but how crazy each actual player's performance is. The opening track "Lay It Down" for example, with its catchy, funky and cool jazzy vibes, all big fans of Lee Ritenour easily know it's him - typical Ritenour's twist. "Lay It Down" is a track that shows everything done right at the start. Kudos for John Scofield, his part makes the opening party quite special. His performance along with Lee is hunky-dory where they successfully managed to trade off thrilling licks and solos. What a soulful jazz! But, when it comes to follow-on track, "Am I Wrong", let's forget a moment about cool and jazzy vibes, what we will get just a primitive blues number. Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal are the right guys for the job (Lee didn't involve in that session). If you always like blues over others, so tracks like "Am I Wrong", "Give Me One Reason", and "Why I Sing the Blues" are easily your kind of thing. However, whether it's blues or not, 6 String Theory is still an incredible guitar parade executed by many prolific musicians from cross generation and cross country, and each one of them has own style and trademark.

Furthermore, it's hard not to applaud and appreciate what Joe Bonamassa and Robert Cray have done on covering Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". The two are just typical virtuoso guitar players (good singers, too), that Chapman's hit seems a little bit too easy for them to cruise over. "Why I Sing the Blues" is another case of example why the album deserves a guitar-oriented predicate. And yes that right, when legend B.B. King joins the circle, and gives his classic bluesy touch, the jam session (along with Vince Gill, Keb' Mo', Jonny Lang, and Lee Ritenour) will always be exciting. They got the show well done, and it's marked by each one's diverse solo executions and rich vocal patterns.

Of course, there are many more highlight songs that deserve to be elaborated here. For instance, about young guitarist Shon Boubil (18) covering Legnani's "Caprices, Op. 20, No. 2 and 7", or about how wonderful "Shape of My Heart" is on the hands of Lee Ritenour and Steve Lukather, and etc, but concerning entire album is more than just a great release, perhaps no more bunch of words can describe how great it is. However, if you are interested in search of its flaw, just begin with its musical direction. As said before, 6 String Theory was meant to be a kind of guitarists' showcase, that's why at the same time it also deserves to be called various-artists compilation album rather than Ritenour's alone. In short, this is highly recommended to any devotee of guitar-oriented stuff, but obviously not a good start if you are going to give Lee Ritenour's works a more attention.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

+ Give Me One Reason (featuring Joe Bonamassa and Robert Cray)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJeOLJ5P9So

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2012


4458 Comments


Another excellent review, Zed, POS'd.

On a side note, there's a few minor errors here and there like the end of the first sentence:
"Looking at those players who involved in this project, no doubt, this is a party of the masters."
I think you meant to say "By Looking at the the players that are involved in this project...."

It's really small stuff, but the review is still really well-written and this guys are really great. good choice.

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks a lot brother

EDIT: already fixed, other grammar and wording mistakes, sooner or later I'll catch 'em all

btw, what do you think about this album?


scissorlocked
July 19th 2012


3511 Comments


sounds sweet

nice review

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you scissor

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012


21583 Comments


Good review Zedo, pos'd.

What would you say is the best place to start with Ritenour?

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks JT, I would say you should start with This Is Love, Smoke N Mirrors..
but, Alive in L.A. is also quite fine

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012


30334 Comments


fukin pos bro, zed for contr. you bring some legit shit to the site man, id vote for u any day



ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks brother! contrib? cool, but i think you and paper more deserve for that position.. :D

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012


30334 Comments


naw bro ill never get, mods are pissed i goofed around a few months ago or whenever that happened but idgaf

plus i get lazy sometimes, you're more consistent

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh i see

"...i get lazy sometimes!"

well, perhaps i just wait for ur another crevice work then, haha

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012


21583 Comments


Thanks Zedo, I'll check those out asap.

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012


30334 Comments


":well, perhaps i just wait for ur another crevice work then,"

m/



ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your're welcome JT, btw have you listened to Joe Bonamassa's new album? If you have, what do you
think? I'm kinda surprised, blues is so much overlooked here..

Captain@ - m/

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012


21583 Comments


Yeah I have, it's really good. It's amazing how consistent he is, releasing quality album after quality album. I think I slightly prefer his previois album, Dust Bowl, though.

Yeah blues definitely needs more love on Sputnik.

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably I will dig Dust Bowl too, the last album I got was Black Rock (Sloe Gin still my fav album so far)

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 19th 2012


4956 Comments


Lee Ritenour is the jam, saw him live a few years back

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's right, you're lucky! i myself only saw him once in a jazz festival

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2012


21583 Comments


@Zedo: Sloe Gin rules but I think You & Me is my personal favourite. Dust Bowl is up there with his best too IMO. I haven't listened to Black Rock, need to check that one.

ZedO
July 19th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's interesting, b'coz i don't hear that album yet (also his first two albums). black rock, imo, is
pretty good; a 3.5



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