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20th Anniversary

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Customer Reviews

Consistency SHOULD Have Been The Key...

I was among the Ripps biggest fans for years. But if you aren't aware that their music degraded severely after the advent of "smooth jazz" as a definable, money-generating genre...well, you just weren't listening. No one will say more good things about Russ as a writer, arranger and guitarist than I will. Listen to the Live in L.A. album. PURE MAGIC. The earlier albums were superb. But...they went for the money and stopped playing from the heart. Whoever said this is glorified elevator music is right. In Russ's defense, what they used to do was WAY too classy and sophisticated for the smooth jazz market as it exists today. He literally could have written all this stuff in his sleep. He's just playing to the market as it exists now. But, I am deeply sad about it. I loved the good ol' days. This is truly one of the greatest bands I have ever heard. But...not with this album...and apparently, not any more.

20th Anniversay

If there is one band that has defined the term "Smooth Jazz" its gotta be the Rippingtons. Think how far ahead of the game these guys were 20 years ago, their 1st album still sounds as fresh as ever and no one knew what Smooth Jazz is/was 20 years ago, yet, they managed to influence pretty much every player that has a name nowadays in the "Smooth Jazz" category. This album is no exception. Where else are you gonna get a list of star players like : Brian McKnight Jeffrey Osborne Dave Koz Kirk Whalum David Benoit Patti Austin Paul Taylor Brandon Fields Gregg Karukas Jimmy Johnson Tony Morales Steve Reid Jeff Kashiwa Eric Marienthal Kim Stone Dave Karasony Bill Heller ....just amazing...so a HUGE hats off to Russ Freeman for being Russ Freeman, continuing to influence the rest of us cats with melodies that are out of this world beautiful, memorable and just plain unique. A special appreciation out to his sax players, Brandon Fields, Jeff Kashiwa, Eric Marienthal and Paul Taylor...you guys are ALL unique in your own beautiful ways and it does not matter "Who your favorite Ripps Sax Player" really is. You are all blessed with virtue, grace and style and each appearance of you guys on any of Russ' albums gave its own unique flavor we listeners were blessed with. Thanks for 20 years of enjoyment, looking forward to the next.

Never a disapointment...

I have been listening to RF/The Ripps since their very first release, and I must say to this day they are still my all time favorites. Mr Freeman is sheer genius when it comes to his music. Their sounds are always fresh and enticing, the music takes you places. This latest peice is absolutely wonderful, thank you Rippingtons.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Los Angeles, CA

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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20th Anniversary, The Rippingtons
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