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Nocturnal Playground

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Album Review

Not to be confused with the Russ Freeman who played with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan in the '50s. This Russ Freeman works often with The Rippingtons and makes competent fusion and pop-based works like this album. Some nice playing, but the compositions are routine, as is the production.


Born: 11 February 1960 in Galveston, TX

Genre: Jazz

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

Guitarist Russ Freeman originally conceived of the Rippingtons as a changing lineup of strong contemporary jazz musicians. After releasing his debut solo album, Nocturnal Playground, in 1985, Freeman assembled the first version of the band, which featured David Benoit on piano and Brandon Fields, Dave Koz, and Kenny G on saxophones, for the appropriately titled Moonlighting (1986). Kilimanjaro, the first Rippingtons album to break into the pop charts, followed in 1988. As of 1989's Tourist in Paradise,...
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Nocturnal Playground, Russ Freeman
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