Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Cross My Heart" by Lee Ritenour

Song#:  1270
Date:  12/04/1982
Debut:  82
Peak:  69
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Crossover Jazz, Pop

Pop Bits:  Jazz artist and session player Ritenour made a move towards the mainstream with his LP "Rit," which featured the #15 pop hit "Is It You?" He decided to keep on that path with his follow-up "Rit/2." This first single, with vocals by Eric Tagg (who also sang "Is It You?"), didn't click at radio or with record buyers and that kept it in the bottom third of the chart. It would be Ritenour's final pop chart entry. He would do one more pop-oriented album before returning fully to Contemporary Jazz. Ritenour's jazz LPs did very well and he won a Grammy along the way.

ReduxReview:  The warm jazz chords, funky synth bass line, and smooth groove just scream West Coast pop. The song goes down easy, but it's just not very memorable. It's an inoffensive piece of pop that would provide a lovely background to your grocery shopping.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  As the 90s started, Ritenour became part of a contemporary jazz "supergroup" called Fourplay. Consisting of Ritenour, Bob James, Nathan East, and Harvey Mason, the quartet issued their debut LP in 1991. It was an immediate success on the Jazz chart reaching #1. The album got a major boost thanks to the single "After the Dance," which reached #2 on the R&B chart. It was a remake of the Marvin Gaye tune which hit #14 R&B/#74 pop in 1976. Fourplay's version featured vocals by El DeBarge. Fourplay's next two albums were also #1 Jazz hits, but after those and a "best of" package, Ritenour decided to leave the group. In 1997, he was replaced by Larry Carlton.


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