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Album Review

Smooth jazz stalwarts the Rippingtons infuse their trademark brand of instrumental pop with a Latin aesthetic on Wild Card. Once again featuring the lead guitar of Russ Freeman, the Rippingtons deliver a solid collection of mellow contemporary pop and lite jazz that should please longtime fans. Evenly split between R&B-inflected cuts such as the Aretha Franklin hit "Till You Come Back to Me" and Latin tracks including the flamenco-inspired "Spanish Girl" and the salsa-ready "Mulata di Mi Amor," Wild Card is a pleasant listen.

Biography

Formed: 1987

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most popular groups in what is loosely termed "contemporary jazz," the Rippingtons were formed (and have been led ever since) by guitarist/keyboardist Russ Freeman (no relation to the veteran West Coast bop pianist of the same name). Freeman (born February 11, 1960, in Nashville) studied at Cal Arts and UCLA, and recorded Nocturnal Playground as a leader in 1985 for the Brainchild label, a one-man project. In 1987, he was approached to record for the Japanese Alfa label and came up with...
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Wild Card, The Rippingtons
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