Lee Ritenour was born in 1952 In Los Angeles. He is a popular studio musician and session player, starting his first session at the age of 16 for the Mama's and the Papa's. Since then he has done around 3000 sessions with people like Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd, Sergio Mendes and Steely Dan.
Besides being a studio guitarist he also has an impressive solo career that started in 1976 at the age of 24 with the album First Course and he has since then recorded around 30 albums. Most of his work is instrumental pop jazz with Brazilian influences. He is a pioneer of the style called smooth jazz. On guitar his main influences are Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel en Joe Pass.
His most famous albums include Wes Bound (a tribute to Wes Montgomery), Larry & Lee (a collaboration with Larry Carlton). His newest project is a DVD called Overtime, a 2 and a half hour long musical overview from his career.
Recommended listening: Wes Bound
1) This fast minor lick comes from Lee Ritenour's guitar solo on 'Stolen Moments' , as played on the CD Stolen Moments.
The lick is played on the IVth degree of Cm7 (Fm7). Lee starts with an arpeggio pattern (9 11 5 b7: a Cm7 arpeggio started on the 5), transposes the pattern in thirds like one would do with diminished patterns and resolves with some chromatic notes to the b3 of Fm7.