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Fountain of Youth (feat. Russ Freeman)

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iTunes Review

The Rippingtons have a long-established reputation as a smooth jazz outfit. But here on the band’s 20th album, leader Russ Freeman has created what he calls a “guitar heaven” album, and he’s not kidding. Loosely based on folks like explorer Ponce de Leon searching for a fountain of youth, the album’s songs travel searchingly in a different direction, with Freeman using various axes (including ukulele, mandolin, and Turkish bağlama) to transport us. Those who want something more straight-down-the-middle smooth can turn to “Soul Riders” or “North Shore,” though you can still hear plenty of laid-back shredding even here. But it’s the opener, “Spice Route,” that really sets the tone with a mix of modern and traditional, Eastern and Western sounds. Touching on flamenco, “River of Gold” follows while referencing the Spanish origins of many of those explorers. The Far East is where the band takes us on “We Will Live Forever,” while “The Sun King” finds Freeman at his most flashy. To those who complain that all smooth jazz sounds the same and doesn’t have chops: this one's for you.

Customer Reviews

Love the Vibe

My new Favorite! I like the old stuff, but this one really speaks to me. I know some miss the Sax, but the sax is so overdone in smooth type jazz. THIS is Fresh, Relaxing, Innovative and I LOVE IT! Thanks Russ and the Gang


The whiners are out in mass formations here. This is a great, solid album. Shut up and try to enjoy it! Some of us are GLAD it sounds a little different. Some of us are thankful for more GUITAR. Sick of whiny reviewers. Buy it, put on some headphones, and fade away.

Russ's third solo effort

'Fountain of Youth' should have been a solo CD by Russ, because it has nothing to do with the band. It's all about his guitar work and is far too laid back. The name 'Fountain of Youth' speaks of renewed energy and this effort lacks the energy of the BAND. Solo # 3, and for all the Ripp followers for the last twenty some years, this has nothing to do with a new sound. Very disappointed this CD was put under the name, The Rippingtons.


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...
Full Bio
Fountain of Youth (feat. Russ Freeman), The Rippingtons
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