Steps Ahead/Lee Ritenour

Live in Tokyo/RIT Special

Eagle Eye Media DVD EE 39079-9

Beirut; Oops; Self Portrait; Sumo; EWI solo; Cajun; Charlayne; Safari; Vibes solo; In a Sentimental Mood; Trains; Reprise.

Michael Brecker (ts,ewi); Mike Mainieri (vibes); Mike Stern (gtr); Darryl Jones (b.gtr); Steve Smith (drums):

Heavenly Bodies; Mr Briefcase; Voices; Dolphin Dreams; Operator; Other Love; Sunset Drivers; Mandela; Amaretto; Rio Funk; Is It You?; RIT Variations 11; I'm Not Responsible.

Lee Ritenour (gtr); Ernie Watts (ts); Carlos Vega (d); Phil Perry & John Massaro (vocals)

Plus others.


These two groups lead the field when it comes to the Super Stars of Jazz Fusion, and to have both bands represented on the same recording is a plus for the lucky purchasers.

These recordings date back to the distant past, 1984 and 1987 respectively. But that makes little difference to the final article, as the expertise of Brecker and Mainieri as the main protagonists of Steps Ahead and Ritenour in RIT can hardly be bettered even by a later version of themselves.

Steps Ahead has a repertoire that may be slightly better known, but both sets of musicians rely upon a tight energetic rhythm section to provide the inspired cushion for the front-line stars.

So, with these two different sets the listener has a prime representation of what was happening in the Jazz Fusion sector at that time, probably as good as it will ever get!

by Al Merritt