JazzTimes - 8/03, pp.134-5
"...Spirited and eminently enjoyable, LET IT RIPP is sure to please the legions of Rippingtons faithful..."
The Rippingtons: Eric Marienthal (saxophone); Russ Freeman (keyboards, synthsizer, guitar); Bill Heller (keyboards); Kim Stone (bass); Dave Karasony (drums); Scott Breadman (percussion).
Additional personnel: Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Steven Holtman (horns).
Recorded at Swamp Rat, Boca Raton, Florida; Sapphire Sound, Las Vegas, Nevada and The Barn, Shadow Hills, California.
Personnel: Russ Freeman (guitar, keyboards, guitar synthesizer); Eric Marienthal (saxophone); Steven Holtman, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey (horns); Bill Heller (keyboards); Dave Karasony (drums); Scott Breadman (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Nick Sodano.
Liner Note Author: Russ Freeman .
Recording information: Sapphire Sound, Las Vegas, NV; Swamp Rat Studios, Boca Raton, FL; The Barn, Shadow Hills, CA.
Photographer: Sonny Mediana.
On Let It Ripp, the contemporary jazz masters known as the Rippingtons offer a mixed exhibition of musical paintings that freely roam their "live" aesthetic more than on any previous studio project. Recorded with no outside musicians except for the horns of Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, and Steven Hoffman, this excellent collection of 11 original songs written by Russ Freeman exemplifies the culmination of 17 years of being on the road. Special guest saxophonist Eric Marienthal (whose killer chops have been heard with the likes of Chick Corea's Elektric Band, among others) provides another level of energy to the already energetic sound of Freeman, who plays guitar, synths, and keyboards, Scott Breadman on percussion, Kim Stone on bass, Dave Karasony on drums, and Bill Heller, also on keyboards. Illustrious highlights of the program include "Let It Rip" (a dynamic mix of guitar and sax), "Mr. 3" (a tune dedicated to Freeman's love of golf), "Bella Luna," and "High Life" (a party tune that features a call and response between Freeman's guitar and the horn section). Overall, these fresh collaborations have the excitement of a new day, and by alternating currents of smooth jazz with an intoxicating mix of distinctive rhythmic influences, the top-level musicianship heard here is sure to receive the acclaim it so rightly deserves. ~ Paula Edelstein