The Rippingtons, led by composer/producer/guitarist Russ Freeman, has become one of the nation's premiere contemporary jazz instrumental groups. Combining jazz, pop, rhythm 'n' blues, Latin and world music elements, the Rippingtons produce a sophisticated, elegant sound that soothes the soul. Their tenth and latest release, "Black Diamond," continues the band's successful ventures INTO urban-flavored music while still encapsulating the sounds of jazz, flamenco, classical, pop and rock. It also celebrates Russ' love of skiing, hence the term "black diamond," the symbol used to classify a mountain as difficult terrain for expert skiers. That concept parallels the album's mix of classic pop-oriented Rippingtons tunes with edgier jaunts. This tight GROUP of musicians produce a dynamic sound that has become a California favorite.