Lee Ritenour And Dave Grusin Celebrate Their Lifelong Musical Friendship

Lee Ritenour in the KNKX studios.
Photo: Parker Miles Blohm

Since he was a teenager, guitarist Lee Ritenour has been proud to call Dave Grusin his friend. While in Seattle for a stretch of nights at Jazz Alley, Lee and Dave returned to the KNKX studios to play together and for each other.

A just-finished documentary, “Dave Grusin: Not Enough Time,” recalls the long and varied career of the pianist, composer and arranger. Along with jazz stars Quincy Jones and Marcus Miller, there’s Dave’s buddy Lee Ritenour talking about his friend.

First meeting at the home of Brazilian star Sergio Mendes, the two have often worked in the relaxed, romantic style of bossa nova. Their Grammy-winning album together, “Harlequin,” featured musicians and tunes from Brazil. They both remarked on the influence of recently passed guitarist, singer and hit-maker Joao Gilberto.

Ritenour mentioned the simple, yet remarkable, rhythmic guitar style pioneered by Gilberto. Grusin told us that he and fellow musicians felt the samba craze would save jazz from the quickly changing, rock-dominated musical landscape of the day.

Brazilian music still weighs heavily in both their hearts, as Ritenour and Grusin teamed up for the beautiful A.C. Jobim song, “Children’s Games,” for a rapt KNKX studio audience.

KNKX Studio Sessions are recorded and produced live in our Seattle studios. Listeners may also subscribe to our Studio Sessions podcast with Apple, Google, or Spotify.

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