Funny thing, Wes Bound the tribute still resonates in my heart as being one of the finest salutes to the most influential guitar players of the modern jazz era Wes Montgomery. Ironically, this homage is more then just blowing smoke to say it’s done but it comes to us by another master guitarist in his own right Lee “Captain Fingers” Ritenour. With each listen, I venture to say Ritenour’s performance and near flawless tone mirrors to perfection the colors, shapes and textures of this stellar collection of songs as if they were his own confirming why his recordings are admired by his contemporaries and fans alike. ~ The Urban Flux
Lee Ritenour | Wes Bound [GRP Records, 1992] – The Weekend SpinThis album was my first exposure to both Lee Ritenour and Wes Montgomery. Who could ask for anything more? Ritenour gives a stunning tribute to one of the greatest jazz guitarists ever to fret a chord. Montgomery always seemed to be playing effortlessly while always keeping the listener entertained by his rhythms and solos.
Ritenour splits the album by covering Montgomery for half the songs and spends the other half composing songs in the style of Montgomery. Ritenour’s covers have a bit of artistic freedom as he colors the songs to his own style of playing. This album sounds more like a tribute to Ritenour’s hero instead of someone flat out copying the songs note for note.
All of these songs are strictly instrumental (except for “Waiting In Vain“, which really doesn’t fit in with the other songs of the album). Ritenour’s licks are fast, varied and entertaining. He has the classic L5 sound throughout the album that just screams jazz. The backing band gives the album more of a smooth jazz feeling, but Ritenour’s playing stands out. – Russell Diederich