Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Al V. (Al) from HOOVER, AL
Reviewed on 3/10/2007...
Guitar leads sometimes big band through its paces
The Rippingtons At Their Best!!!
Mr. Music Critic | Georgia | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of the Rippington's since they first hit the airwaves on Jazz/New Age radio stations. Over the years they have faced many personnel changes. Frontman Russ Freeman has been the driving force behind all of their music. He is an absolute genius!!! The outstanding tracks on this one are Curves Ahead, Aspen, and Snowbound. Their isn't a bad song on this CD. I rarely give five stars to any CD, but I did here...because Curves Ahead and Welcome To The Saint James Club are the Rippington's at their best!!!!"
Smooth jazz doesn't have to be boring, bland jazz...
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 06/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... as this amazingly exciting album from way back in 1991 clearly demonstrates. Full of pop pretensions and funky beats, there are nonetheless jazz improvisations of the highest standards to be found here. From the opening beats of the title tune (which always remind me of the opening beats of Sade's "The Sweetest Taboo"), right through to the final strains of "Morning Song", Russ Freeman and his men take us through a delightful set that I'm sure Spyro Gyra were envious of.
Speaking of which, former Spyro Gyra bassist Kim Stone plays on this album, alongside people like Tony Morales on drums, Jeff Kashiwa on tenor and alto sax, Mark Portman on acoustic piano not to mention smooth jazz stalwarts like Dave Grusin, Kirk Whalum, Nelson Rangell and Omar Hakim, all of whom feature on some of the tunes. The one-man band Freeman himself plays keyboardsd, acoustic, classical, steel string and electric guitars, guitar synthesizer and bass.
This is the only Rippingtons CD I own but I very much doubt they made one that surpasses this one. And while I fully accept that there are some purveyors of so-called smooth jazz who barely make an effort, this band - or more accurately, this album - is definitely not to be placed in that category. Give it a listen. You will not be disappointed."