Lee Ritenour & Kurt Elling River Man

Lee Ritenour & Kurt Elling River Man
Album : Rhythm Sessions (2012)


The work of amiable and prolific smooth-jazz hero Lee Ritenour is steeped in the sublime tones and techniques of jazz guitarists such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Exposed to those six-string masters as a child in Los Angeles, where he was born in 1952, Ritenour got his first studio gig with The Mamas & The Papas in 1968 and eventually appeared on upwards of 3,000 recordings, including more than 30 albums of his own. Ritenour’s dexterous digits earned him the moniker Captain Fingers, the title of the first of his three influential instrumental jazz-funk albums released in the late ‘70s. He dove into vocal-driven pop during the ’80s, winning a Grammy for Harlequin in 1985, and never quit exploring. Festival (1988) launched a prolonged fascination with Brazilian jazz, while Stolen Moments (1990) released his inner jazz purist. Pop-jazz always remained his specialty, however and Ritenour spent much of the ’90s in fusion supergroup Fourplay. Losing his home and studio in a Malibu fire inspired Ritenour’s first solo-guitar release, 2020’s Dreamcatcher.






38 responses to “Lee Ritenour & Kurt Elling River Man”

  1. kotakaz Avatar

    perfect arrangement…

  2. Dee Dee Avatar

    a song for humanity

  3. stefano cavallo Avatar

    feeling freeeeee Das ist ein Gebet

  4. Alfred Eubanks Avatar

    This is for my Father. Forever.

  5. Martin Hisson Avatar

    RIP Kurt Cobain :’(

  6. Jacy Carrington Crawford Avatar

    One of my favorite soothing go to songs. Never get tired of this

  7. Thomas Roberts Avatar

    Awesome song. Time signature sticks in your brain. The lyrics made me find out about Nick Drake. Now I have to learn more about him. How did I never remember hearing of his music/words.
    I checked many versions of this song, and this is my favorite. But hearing Nick Drake sing this . . .

  8. ELeni Dere Avatar

    Incredible version!!!

  9. Eddie Wakes Music Avatar

    Kurt’s version of this song should be on the soundtrack of Drake’s BioPic!

  10. Justin Cooper Avatar

    Play this at my funeral.

  11. Ronnie Daniels Avatar

    Kurt Elling on Vocals. This Song got me to buy more albums by both Lee & Kurt

  12. solomon faber Avatar


  13. Bob L Avatar

    Heard this on KKJZ (Cal State Long Beach) and was blown away. Magnificent!

  14. Walter Amaguaña Abata Avatar

    Betty came by on her way
    Said she had a word to say
    'Bout things today
    And fallen leaves
    Said she hadn't heard the news
    Hadn't had the time to choose
    A way to lose
    But she believes

    Gonna see the river man
    Gonna tell him all I can
    About the plan
    For lilac time
    If he tells me all he knows
    'Bout the way his river flows
    And all night shows
    In summertime

    Betty said she prayed today
    For the sky to blow away
    Or, maybe stay
    She wasn't sure
    For when she thought of summer rain
    Calling for her mind again
    She lost the pain
    And stayed for more

    Gonna see the river man
    Gonna tell him all I can
    About the ban
    On feeling free
    If he tells me all he knows
    'Bout the way his river flows
    I don't suppose
    It's meant for me

    Oh, how they come and go
    Oh… how they come, go

    1. mistacoopz Avatar

      Thanks. Top lyric.

  15. Tim White Avatar

    I can't get enough of this beautiful song. Everything about it is incredible from start to finish! So thankful there are still talented artist making music like this.

  16. aaaserv Avatar

    From who is this beautiful voice?? Love this song..

  17. steven gargadennec Avatar

    amazing interpretation and arrangements, almost best that original tune

  18. TvTimes Avatar

    Why can't we just have an instrumental version of river man rather than people doing their own covers

  19. Rickg Music Avatar

    The 5/4 timing is perfect for this magical tune. I play it in my repertoire, love this song.

  20. happycitify Avatar

    i hear court and spark hints in this arrangement

  21. happycitify Avatar

    can't stop listening

  22. Donhardi EPE Avatar

    Kurt Elling, the best vocalist of all.  "INSUPERABILE"

  23. Morgan Ames Avatar

    haunting, could listen to this progression all night

  24. Donald Kearns Avatar

    Treat yourself to this today. It will put you in a very cool groove.

  25. Artandmusic Avatar

    so languid and understated, love this version!

  26. BadSneakers Avatar

    No, it's Kurt Elling singing

  27. Asger Skov Velling Avatar

    Is it Lee singing on this one?

  28. Mary Fadel Avatar

    I heard this arrangement on WICN 90.5 and I was transfixed….perfect, beautiful.

  29. BadSneakers Avatar

    Lee and Kurt made an awesome song even more musical

  30. borzas Avatar

    this is good. I think Drake's body of work is a very "sensitive" one, and this one song is even more sensitive. it could easily have been ruined, but no. because this is good.

  31. DLSmith93 Avatar

    Really nice cut. Kurt and Lee made a solid collaboration. Thanks so much for posting!

  32. coopz Avatar

    Met Nick a couple of times back in the day. Formidable…

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