July 2020 Marcus Miller -- Lee Ritenour
Disclaimer: I do not own the music. All rights go to their respective owners.
Marcus Miller is an American film composer, jazz composer, record producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a bass guitarist. He has worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, among others. Miller was born in Brooklyn, New York City, in 1959 and raised in a musical family. His father, William Miller, was a church organist and choir director; Miller is jazz pianist Wynton Kelly's cousin. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar. He began to work regularly in New York City, eventually playing bass and writing music for jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. Miller became a session musician. Miller spent approximately 15 years performing as a session musician. During that time he also arranged and produced frequently. He was a member of the Saturday Night Live band 1979-1981. He co-wrote Aretha Franklin's "Jump To It" along with Luther Vandross. He has played bass on over 500 recordings, appearing on over 500 albums by such artists as Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Herbie Hancock, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, The Crusaders, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Dr. John, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joe Walsh, Jean-Michel Jarre, Grover Washington Jr., Donald Fagen, Bill Withers, Bernard Wright, Kazumi Watanabe, Chaka Khan, LL Cool J and Flavio Sala.. He won the "Most Valuable Player" award (given by NARAS to recognize studio musicians) three years in a row and was subsequently awarded "player emeritus" status and retired from eligibility. In the nineties, Miller began to write his own music and make his own records, putting a band together and touring regularly. As a composer, Miller co-wrote and produced several songs on the Miles Davis album Tutu, including its title track. He also composed "Chicago Song" for David Sanborn and co-wrote "'Til My Baby Comes Home", "It's Over Now", "For You to Love", and "Power of Love" for Luther Vandross. Miller also wrote "Da Butt", which was featured in Spike Lee's School Daze. In addition, he composed and provided spoken vocals on "Burn it Up", which was featured on Najee's 1992 album Just An Illusion. Miller was nominated for numerous Grammy Awards as a producer for Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chaka Khan and Wayne Shorter and won two Grammys. He won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1992, for Luther Vandross' "Power of Love" and in 2001 he won for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for his seventh solo instrumental album, M². Miller is noted for playing a 1977 Fender Jazz Bass that was modified by Roger Sadowsky with the addition of a Bartolini preamp so he could control his sound in the studio. Fender started to produce a Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz Bass in four-string (made in Japan) and five-string (made in U.S) versions. Later, Fender moved the production of the four-string to their Mexico factory and discontinued both four- and five-string models in 2015. DR Strings also produced a series of Marcus Miller signature stainless steel strings known as "Fat Beams", which come in a variety of sizes.
Lee Mack Ritenour is an American jazz guitarist who has been active since the late 1960s. Ritenour was born on January 11, 1951 in Los Angeles, California, United States. At the age of eight he started playing guitar and four years later decided on a career in music. When he was 16 he played on his first recording session with the Mamas & the Papas. He developed a love for jazz and was influenced by guitarist Wes Montgomery. At the age of 17 he worked with Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. He studied classical guitar at the University of Southern California. Ritenour's solo career began with the album First Course (1976), a good example of the jazz-funk sound of the 1970s, followed by Captain Fingers, The Captain's Journey (1978), and Feel the Night (1979). In 1979, he "was brought in to beef up one of Pink Floyd's The Wall heaviest rock numbers, "Run Like Hell". He played "uncredited rhythm guitar" on "One of My Turns". As the 1980s began, Ritenour began to add stronger elements of pop to his music, beginning with Rit (1981). "Is It You" with vocals by Eric Tagg reached No. 15 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 27 on the Soul chart The track peaked at number fifteen on Hot Adult Contemporary chart. He continued with the pop-oriented music for Rit/2 (1982) and Banded Together (1984), while releasing a Direct-Disk instrumental album in 1983 called On the Line. He also provided rhythm guitar on Tom Browne's album Funkin' for Jamaica. He recorded Harlequin (1985) with Dave Grusin and vocals by Ivan Lins. His next album, Earth Run, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. The album's title track was also Grammy nominated in the category of Best Instrumental Composition. Portrait (GRP, 1987) included guest performances by The Yellowjackets, Djavan, and Kenny G. n 1988, his Brazilian influence came to the forefront on Festival, an album featuring his work on nylon-string guitar. He changed direction with his straight-ahead jazz album Stolen Moments which he recorded with saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Harvey Mason. During the same year, he composed the theme song for the Canadian TV series Ramona. n 1988, his Brazilian influence came to the forefront on Festival, an album featuring his work on nylon-string guitar. He changed direction with his straight-ahead jazz album Stolen Moments which he recorded with saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Harvey Mason. During the same year, he composed the theme song for the Canadian TV series Ramona. In 1991 Ritenour and keyboardist Bob James formed the group Fourplay. He left the group in 1998 and was replaced by Larry Carlton. He released the career retrospective Overtime in 2005. Smoke n' Mirrors came out the next year with the debut of his thirteen-year-old son, Wesley, on drums.