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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lee Ritenour

Rit & Rit 2

Review by Gary Hill

This reissue has both of Lee Ritenour’s first albums on one CD. I’ve included this under prog rock because we generally put fusion there. That said, this definitely lands on the pop end of that equation. If you are big on that labeling being correct, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, I think that would be a mistake. There is a lot of good music here, and some of it really is proggy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rit

                        
Mr. Briefcase

The keyboard sounds that start this are a bit cheesy and dated. The guitar joins brining a different angle, though. This is a funky kind of number. The vocals bring it more into pop music territory, but this is really fusion.

(Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies
Funk and jazz merge on this cool tune. I love the bass work on this thing.
No Sympathy
This is a much mellower tune. It’s probably equal parts jazz and mellow prog rock. Comparisons to Pink Floyd are valid in some ways. I could see references to Alan Parsons project, too. Toto is worth a mention, as well.
Is It You?
Closer to something Toto might do, this is a jazzy number. It’s fun and perhaps a bit like Stevie Wonder, too.
Dreamwalk
This is a pretty (and suitably dreamy) guitar solo.
Countdown (Captain Fingers)
This energetic jam combines fusion, funk and electronic music. It’s like Kraftwerk does funk in some ways.
Good Question
This instrumental has some great prog and fusion sections built into it.
(You Caught Me) Smilin'
A mix of jazz and rock and roll is the basic concept here. This is a great tune.
On the Slow Guide
This instrumental is smoking hot fusion. It has plenty of great melody, but still manages to rock.
No Sympathy (Reprise Version)
Another instrumental, this is great mellow and quite melodic fusion.
Rit 2
            
Cross My Heart

I love the guitar that dances across the top of this. The cut is a great pop fusion rocker.

Promises, Promises
This has a bit more pop and soul in the mix. Still, it’s solid fusion.
Dreamwalkin'
This mellower cut has some rock along with pop and jazz built into it. It’s an effective number.
Keep It Alive
Here is another pop music based jazz number. It has some soulful elements. It’s another effective piece.
A Fantasy
This instrumental is a nice bit of fusion.
Tied Up
Fusion, rock and pop merge on this catchy tune.
Voices
Now, this is quite prog oriented. It’s dramatic and powerful. It has a mellower element to it in a lot of ways. The instrumental section is very much prog rock, too.
On the Boardwalk
This dandy little rocker is one that’s very much both jazz and prog rock in nature. I dig the funky bass line.
Road Runner
This instrumental lands more in the territory of pure fusion. It has some smoking hot jamming.
Malibu
A mellower instrumental motif is the concept here. It’s very much in line with a lot of progressive rock. Intricate acoustic guitar weaves lines of melody. Keyboards create texture over the top.
 
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