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Lee Ritenour: A Half-Century Of Jazz Guitar

With his new CD, 6 String Theory, Lee Ritenour celebrates 50 years as a guitarist. But for Ritenour, that half-century started when he first began learning to play the instrument at age 8. A few years later, though, he was a teenage studio musician on his way to becoming a Grammy-winning pioneer of jazz, rock and funk fusion.

When Ritenour came into the KPLU/Jazz24 studios on an unseasonably cool August afternoon, he arrived with a rhythm section hot enough to raise Seattle's temperature a few degrees: drummer Will Kennedy and bassist Melvin Davis. Together, they laid down three delightful tracks: "Water's Edge," "L.P. -- For Les Paul" and Freddie Hubbard's composition, "Povo." Along the way, Ritenour talked with jazz host Abe Beeson about his early years as a studio guitarist and described how the music scene has changed over the course of his career. Ritenour also discussed traveling the world and even hosting a talent contest to get all the guest guitarists he wanted for his latest recording project.

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