Ace session guitarist makes smooth jazz album
Gavin Wilson | 06/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have no end of albums from the 70s which feature Lee's guitar -- Steely Dan, Alphonso Johnson etc -- but this was the first of his solo LPs that I heard. Now re-mastered by Joe Gastwirt, this 1978 Grusin-sponsored CD bears many traces of the era.The opening track, 'The Captain's Journey', is more like Al DiMeola's 1976 'Land of the Midnight Sun' than say, Ritenour's 1990s work with Fourplay. Ian Underwood -- famous for his work on Zappa's 'Hot Rats' -- provides half the synth backing.'Morning Glory' is a piece of low-key funk with vocals. Abraham Laboriel provides some sturdy bass -- whatever happened to him? 'Sugarloaf Express' has a lightweight Brazilian rhythm, laid down by Weather Report's Alex Acuna.'Matchmakers' is perhaps the catchiest number on the album, and the line-up of session aces reads like a late 70s Steely Dan outing. 'What Do You Want' unfortunately has a very dated synth intro. 'That's Enough For Me', co-written by Dave Grusin and Patti Austin, is the most beautiful song on the album.Though I prefer Ritenour's excellent guitar sound with Fourplay, I feel this is almost a great album. It takes me back to the carefree summers of the late 70s when my only responsibility was to pass the occasional exam. Actually it was my brother who owned the LP, so my principal recollection of it is Laboriel's bass lines thumping through the bedroom wall."