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"Lee Ritenour is one of the smoothest, cleanest playing guitarists that's ever picked up the instrument! I first heard this album, on vinyl, back in 1983. As a then rock fan, I was totally surprised that I enjoyed it, but Lee's clean crisp sound, speed and edge touched a nerve. Since that time, I've acquired many of his recordings and seen him live several times."On The Line" is an in-studio concert. Seriously, read the liner notes! Lee fills the recording with big contemporary jazz names including Dave and Don Grusin on keyboards, Anthony Jackson and Nathan East sharing bass duties, and Ernie Watts on sax. This group then plays the entire set live, direct-to-disc."The Rit Variations" opens the album with a mid-tempo, electric-classical musing. Nice basswork by Jackson and punchy lines by Rit give certain sections an Al Dimeola/flamenco feel. Next Lee drops a mellow tune in your lap, full of nice Watts sax work. The title cut is an upbeat number with a lot of funky keyboard and Mason's driving drums. Listen to Rit's raspy-toned solo beginning at the 2:15 mark. "Tush" comes back with a soft pulse. Especially sweet are the sections where Lee and Ernie play over the top of each other. Nathan East jumps headlong into cut five, a bouncy tune which exemplifies Rit's clean style...no matter the style, speed or tone....every note is crisp and clear. "Heavenly Bodies" contains a wide range of dynamics and sounds as though it should be part of a movie soundtrack, with the Grusins on board, who knows. Rit fuzzes up the third minute with a floating solo. I'm not so sure about the tune "Pedestrian", the weird synth/keyboard sound wears on me after a minute or two...you'll have to make the call. Lee finishes the album off with the thoughtful "Dolphin Dreams". Again his soft, sweet lines and Watts' flowing sax create the proper mood. Rit turns up intensity slightly for the soaring central solo and then drops it back down to Watts, before easing us out with a soothing end.The album is a mixture of slow balladry, smooth-jazzy contemporary styling and a couple of thumping numbers that will have you trying to anticipate what the band will do next. This is a "must have" for any true Rit fan. I've been listening to it for seventeen years and it's still in my rotation. No wonder they call the man - Captain Fingers!"
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.