Featuring a bevy of world music guests, guitarist Lee Ritenour's Smoke 'N' Mirrors is a stylish, joyous, and laid-back multicultural affair. Among the guests are Brazilian vocalist and keyboardist Daniel Jobim, South African vocalist Zamajobe and guitarist Erik Pilani Paliani, West African bassist Richard Bona, as well as such well-known contemporary jazz icons as pianist Dave Grusin, bassist John Patitucci, percussionist Sheila E., and others. Judiciously, Ritenour has made room for a wide musical palette including funky jams, melodic soul vocal tracks, inspired rhythmic passages, and of course straight-ahead jazz improvisation. While this is an impeccably crafted effort in the tradition of past Ritenour albums, it never comes off as anything less than organically heartfelt.
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