The Rippingtons

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Guitarist Russ Freeman [born Feb. 11, 1960] grew up in Nashville, spending his early years hanging out in the recording studio where his father introduced him to dozens of session musicians.  By age 14, Freeman was playing sessions himself.

He initially formed The Rippingtons in 1986 as a one-off "supergroup" project.  Original members of the ensemble included David Benoit, Kenny G, Dave Koz, Gregg Karukas and more.   That first album, Moonlighting, was voted by JazzIz magazine as the most influential contemporary jazz album of all time.

Response to Moonlighting led to the formation of a touring group and the making of a second album.  Over twenty years later, the Rippingtons continue to make envelope-pushing music, frequently influenced by Freeman's current interests at the time (i.e. Black Diamond from skiing, Life In the Tropics inspired by Freeman's life in Florida, and their 2009 release, Modern Art drawing on Freeman's own artistic talents).

The current Rippingtons lineup includes Freeman, Jeff Kashiwa, Bill Heller, Dave Karasony and Rico Belled.

  • Russ Freeman is also a talented artist.  His work is featured on his personal website.

  • Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa met his future wife when she was in the audience at a Rippingtons show.

  • The breakup of the Beatles strongly affected Freeman, who vowed that if he ever had a band, he'd never break them up.

  • The band's logo, the Jazz Cat, is on every album cover.

Tim Bowman - First Time On The Radio

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