Two Worlds

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
For jazz musicians, taking liberties with someone else's music is a way of life. When Ella sings Gershwin or Monk plays Ellington, the result is fresh yet reassuringly familiar. On Two Worlds, jazz guitarist/composer Lee Ritenour and pianist/composer Dave Grusin turn to the classics for inspiration, putting their own stamp on timeless works by J. S. Bach, Bela Bartók, Manuel de Falla, Heitor Villa Lobos, and other masters, as well as offering a few classically flavored concoctions of their own. Grusin and Ritenour generally remain faithful to the originals, as in their sprightly version of the opening Allegro from Bach's A Minor Concerto BWV 1065 -- more a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
For jazz musicians, taking liberties with someone else's music is a way of life. When Ella sings Gershwin or Monk plays Ellington, the result is fresh yet reassuringly familiar. On Two Worlds, jazz guitarist/composer Lee Ritenour and pianist/composer Dave Grusin turn to the classics for inspiration, putting their own stamp on timeless works by J. S. Bach, Bela Bartók, Manuel de Falla, Heitor Villa Lobos, and other masters, as well as offering a few classically flavored concoctions of their own. Grusin and Ritenour generally remain faithful to the originals, as in their sprightly version of the opening Allegro from Bach's A Minor Concerto BWV 1065 -- more a transcription than a transformation. But elsewhere they let their imaginations take wing, blowing a cool breeze into the tender Andante of Moreno Torroba's Sonatina, for example, or adding a sultry swing to "El paño moruno" from de Falla's Suite Popular Española. Guest appearances by classical superstars Renée Fleming, Gil Shaham, and Julian Lloyd Webber add eloquence as well as glamour. Fleming's soprano soars in the haunting aria from Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, and her soulful performance of "River Songs" harks back to her early days singing with jazz bands. Shaham sends his bow scurrying across the strings in Bartók's spicy Romanian Folk Dances, and the melancholy drawl of Lloyd Webber's cello is perfectly suited to the expressive melodic contours of a Siciliana by Bach. Backed on most tracks by a large, lush-sounding string ensemble, the disc's atmosphere is predominantly lyrical and surprisingly intimate. Although billed as "the jazz lover's classical album," Grusin and Ritenour's respectful yet imaginative music-making should hold just as much appeal for classical aficionados.
All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/12/2000
  • Label: Decca U.S.
  • UPC: 601215796025
  • Catalog Number: 157960
  • Sales rank: 95,545

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lee Ritenour Primary Artist
Keith Green Viola
Alex Acuña Percussion, Drums
Richard Altenbach Violin
Carole Castillo Viola
Luis Conte Percussion
Stephen Erdody Celli
Renée Fleming Soprano
Julie Gigante Violin
Paula Hochhalter Celli
Carrie Holzman-Little Viola
Roland Kato Viola
Tom Kennedy Bass
Michelle Kim Violin
Julian Lloyd Webber Cello
Edward Meares Bass
Cecilia Tsan Celli
Roger Wilkie Violin
Margaret Wooten Violin
Scott Haupert Viola
Christina Soule Celli
Lesa Terry Violin
Renita Koven Viola
Lisa Sutton Violin
Natalie Leggett Violin
Gil Shaham Violin
Jennie Hansen Viola
Sara Parkins Violin
Gary Kuo Violin
Rachel Purkin Violin
Susan Rishik Violin
Liane Mautner Violin
Marc Sazer Violin
Mario de León Violin
Ralph Morrison III Violin
Technical Credits
Federico Mompou Composer
Heitor Villa-Lobos Composer
Dave Grusin Arranger, Producer
Lee Ritenour Producer
Elliot Scheiner Engineer
Federico Moreno Torroba Composer
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