Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This is the 16th solo effort by renowned guitarist Lee Ritenour, released in 1986. The album is notable for Ritenour's featured use of the SynthAxe - a synthesizer which is controlled in a similar manner to the guitar. Earth Run reached #10 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. Previously out of print!
Dedicated to the First Earth Run, in which runners circled the globe for peace in 1986, Ritenour's 16th solo album was performed on a variety of nine different guitars, counting the peculiarly fuzzy, futuristic sound of the synthaxe. For reasons having little to do with that, and far more to do with more musical playing by Rit, better material and L.A. sessionmen on their game, this is a more interesting record than most of its immediate predecessors. The standout cut here is a welcome cover of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly; " also worthy of note are the techno-fried quasi-salsa in "The Sauce" and the title cut. Among some of the musicians who appear in the mix are Dave and Don Grusin, Ernie Watts (heard to better effect than usual on Rit's '80s albums), Carlos Vega and Paulinho Da Costa. The sessions sound too processed to allow for much spontaneity, but the Ritenour funk chops do appear more often and more effectively here. The CD version contains an extra tune, "Hero." ~ Richard S. Ginell