Just about a year ago, Lee Ritenour performed in Zoetermeer and the show had been received very well indeed.
Having released his collaboration project "6 String Theory" recently and after touring Japan, Ritenour & friends were in the Netherlands once more.
First Groningen, then Hengelo and the last show was in Zoetermeer.
De Boerderij had been sold out for Lee Ritenour again.
This time he brought his old band mate Patrice Rushen with him on keyboards, just like last year Melvin Davis on the bass and instead of Yellow Jackets drummer Will Kennedy,
Lee now had ex-Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Sonny Emory in the band.
Ritenour chose for simplicity because there were no guests, he brought only two guitars (Gibson Les Paul and Gibson L-5), so he left his "Silent guitar" by Yamaha at home.
Ritenour opened with Memeza from the album Smoke 'n' Mirrors in his classic smooth jazzy style.
Davis, sitting on a chair, played his enormous 7 string bass guitar with ease,
Emory contributed by sophisticated and subtle drumming and Rushen merely in an accompanying role.
In the same soft style the band continued to play 13 from the album Rit's House.
Ritenour on the Gibson L-5 and Rushen with her first dazzling solo's. Of course the band played an arrangement without the brass.
Next track, also a very jazzy one with long duets between guitar and piano, was Stone Flower, taken from the album Twist Of Jobim.
On it went with a combination of Wes bound (from the album with the same title) and the groovy Little Bumpin' (from Alive in L.A.).
So far only Memeza had been the difference with last year's show.
Rushen needed her glasses for a while but put them off again later in the show.
Of course Ritenour invited the audience to visit his shop with the new CD, which the band was prepared to sign after the show.
Unfortunately from all his albums there was only a very small selection available.
His hommage to Les Paul featured his next section in the show: L.P., a superb tune, on the album recorded with jazz legends Pat Martino (guitar) and Joey DeFrancesco (organ).
Lay It Down too was taken from the new album, a magnificent funky tune originally recorded with another great guitar player: John Scofield.
For this occasion "Captain Fingers" did it all by himself with nice contributions by Rushen, Davis and Emory.
Thanks to one of the employees of "De Boerderij" (cheers Paul), I got hold of a setlist but to be honest I'm not sure if the band performed Morning Glory.
No doubt however the quartet played Get up, Stand Up, a tribute to the late Bob Marley, featuring Partrice Rushen on vocals.
Even more she stood in the spotlights, because she got the opportunity to perform one of the few hits she recorded, although she wrote quite a few good songs.
With an extensive story about her record company, not liking that song at all, but that it became a huge hit nevertheless: Forget Me Nots,a sweet soulful song, a mixture between pop & funk.
Lee exchanged his L-5 for the classic Les Paul for the last part of the show by the way.
Most certainly Ritenour played the title track of his 2006 album Smoke 'n' Mirrors but I'm not sure if this in fact was the very last song.
His music however superb and unique is not within my usual realm of progressive rock....
Anyway the whole crowd was ecstatic and the atmosphere was great.
The band played for about two hours, but somehow the chemistry of these four people, who have played together for so many gigs,
wasn't as cheerful as last year, although RIT never seemed to stop smiling.
Without guest or additional musicians, the set a bit shorter than last year's show and the lights a bit less playful, I cannot say I didn't enjoy the show, because I did.
The facts mentioned above however and considering Ritenour's huge repertoire, I had hopes for a totally different setlist than last year's and that dream didn't come true...
but a wonderful evening it was and what a brilliant technique this guitar virtuoso still has!
Stay tuned because there will an addition in the "Special Section" shortly because Lee granted me an interview!
Lay It Down
Get Up, Stand Up
Forget Me Nots (Rushen)
Smoke 'n ' Mirrors