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.