The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Lee Ritenour & R. Muller Reisling from Octavian Wines

I was working out on a cross trainer earlier tonight and one of my favorite smooth jazz guitarists came on my Pandora channel. Lee Ritenou is a Grammy award winning guitarist with a repertoire that spans jazz, rock, Brazilian, and fusion music. He’s the kind of guitarist that you sit back, close your eyes, and let his sound take you to a better place. He started out as a studio session guitarist and rose to be one of the top first-call musicians in L.A, playing over 3,000 sessions with artists like Pink Floyd (The Wall), Steely Dan (Aja), Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand. At the age of 16 he played with the Mamas and Papas and followed that with sessions with Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. His forty year eclectic and storied career is highlighted by 17 Grammy nominations, numerous #1 spots in guitar polls, and a Grammy Award for his 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin for “Harlequin.” He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, notably the Top 15 hit "Is It You," which has become a contemporary jazz radio classic. So, it’s time to decompress from the week. Enjoy!

Night Rhythms:

Captain Fingers:

Sugarloaf Express:

Is It You:

A Little Bumpin:


24th Street Blues:



Rio Funk:

With Brian Bromberg:

Forget Me Nots:

Give Me One Reason:

Blue in Green:

I’ve become a big fan of Octavian wines. These are boxed wines, but they’re not cheap crap in a bag. I would classify them as high quality table wines, the kind I like to drink during the week when I’m working in my office or polishing up my next thriller novel. My current favorite to which I’m addicted is their Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. At least it used to be my favorite until I tried their 2009 R. Müller Reisling ($22.00/3L). I love reisling and this is an excellent example with a bouquet of honey and green apples. Good acidity and just the right amount of sweetness makes it an excellent accompaniment to reading, writing, and music. Plus it’s low alcohol content (9.5%) means it goes down easy and doesn’t turn you into a puddle after two glasses. That’s a good thing because I went through my first box in five days. Trust me. It goes great with Lee Ritenour. Enjoy!


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