Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rippingtons, Russ Freeman|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
During the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, the "smooth jazz" or "adult-alternative" sound has been the fastest growing format in radio, and the Rippingtons, who released their first album in 1986, have grown right along with it.... more »
During the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, the "smooth jazz" or "adult-alternative" sound has been the fastest growing format in radio, and the Rippingtons, who released their first album in 1986, have grown right along with it. However smooth this format may be, it has very little to do with jazz. It's essentially easy-listening pop instrumentals, and the Rippingtons have prospered within the genre thanks to the pleasant melodies, breezy rhythms, and unobtrusive solos conjured up by guitarist/keyboardist Russ Freeman, the founder, composer, arranger, producer, and only unchanging member of the group. Freeman celebrated the Rippingtons' 10th anniversary with the band's 10th album, Black Diamond. According to the liner notes, Freeman's nine new tunes and one new song were inspired by his experiences skiing in Colorado. It's easy, in fact, to imagine this music as a soundtrack for those montages the networks like to put together during the Winter Olympics. How much you will enjoy this album will largely depend on how often you like to sit around and listen to TV background music. Mark Williamson, recently signed to Freeman's new label, Peak, sings lead on the sentimental ballad, "If I Owned the World," and lends wordless background vocals to six other tracks. Percussionist Steve Reid, the only member to stick with Freeman since 1987, is present on only two tracks. The closest the album gets to real jazz comes on "Angelfire" when Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and Mexican-American percussionist Pete Escovedo add embellishments to Freeman's easy-going Latin theme. --Geoffrey Himes
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One of their last great releases.
Jerry | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Get ready to say goodbye here to the Rippingtons we all knew and loved to listen to. "Topaz" was their last decent release before going downhill. But anyway my favorites would have to be "Deep Powder", "In another Life" and "Jewel Thieves".