Two Worlds

Two Worlds

by Lee Ritenour
     
 

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,See more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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:
09/12/2000
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0601215796025
catalogNumber:
157960
Rank:
75231

Related Subjects

Tracks

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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   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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