Up until recently, one of the best places to hear smooth jazz in the US was on The Weather Channel, during their “Local On The 8’s” segment. The local forecast and current conditions are displayed on the screen as smooth jazz plays in the background. TWC found this was so popular that they actually compiled several CD’s worth of some of the more popular tunes.
Anyway, if you’ve ever seen one of those segments, you have probably heard The Rippingtons, a band that generally consists of guitarist/keyboardist/programmer Russ Freeman backed by a rotating group of musicians, which have included David Benoit, Greg Karukas, Jeff Kashiwa, Paul Taylor, Eric Marienthal, and other stars of the genre in their own right. They’ve recorded 20 studio albums, all of which have been in the Top 10 of jazz record sales (including six #1’s), two live albums, and have had one compilation album created by GRP Records, their original label.
From their most recent #1 album, 2016’s True Stories, here is the title track. Note the cat on the album cover: it has been on the cover of every Rippingtons album, in one form or another.
From their first #1 album and fourth overall, 1990’s Welcome To The St. James’ Club, here is the title track.
All of their albums can be found on YouTube and Spotify. Their official website is currently displaying their most recent album, Open Road, which came out in March of this year. And, of course, the band has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Russ Freeman & The Rippingtons, your Two for Tuesday, July 9, 2019.