Picks and Pans Review: Festival

updated 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Lee Ritenour

If your college's basketball coach recruited as well as Ritenour does his players for this album, your team would be going to the Final Four every year. The guitarist has assembled sterling talent from America (Omar Hakim, Bob James, Ernie Watts and Marcus Miller, who must be the busiest musician on the face of the earth) and Brazil (João Bosco, Carlinhos Brown). Of course, the ringleader himself is no slouch. Playing acoustic guitar exclusively here, Ritenour coaxes a tone out of his nylon strings that compares favorably with that of Earl Klugh. If Mrs. Butterworth put down her syrup bottles and picked up the instrument, she'd sound like this. The first two selections set the tenor of the album. Night Rhythms is animated, sharply played jazz fusion, while Latin Lovers, with Bosco singing the Brazilian lyrics, is a silky samba that turns fiery as the percussion turns up the heat under the other instruments. Except for the pretty instrumental ballad Waiting for You, the album alternates between fusion and South American moods. Some songs, like Humana, mix the two. Ritenour has worked with Brazilian influences before, but this time, when he flies us down to Rio, the flight is smooth and pleasant indeed. (GRP)

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