The Rippingtons should get some kind of truth-in-advertising award for Life in the Tropics. Here's a recording that positively brims with a groove-acious atmosphere that speaks of chilling out in the islands with a propulsive dance partner at your side and a cold piña colada waiting for you back at your table. Group leader and producer Russ Freeman -- who takes on guitar and occasional bass and keyboards throughout the album -- has draped the whole project in a lush sonic environment that moves to a delightful Latin undercurrent. (Freeman also has his hands in the composition of nearly every song, ensuring a consistent feel for the entire album.)"Avenida Del Mar" is set off by a biting Santana-ish groove, snappy horns, and percussion and highlights a Freeman solo that has more than a touch of Carlos going for it; "South Beach Mambo," which benefits from a neat trumpet turn by Ramon Flores, also proves that Freeman's been doing his share of listening to Supernatural. Other tracks are just as seductive. The easy-moving ballad "I Found Heaven" gets a lovely lead vocal by guest Howard Hewett, while the rhythmic title track gets special keyboard attention from Bob James. In all, Life in the Tropics acts as a quick trip to warmer climes, without actually leaving your living room.
Performance CreditsRippingtons Primary Artist
Howard Hewett Vocals
Dave Koz Saxophone
Peter White Classical Guitar
Gary Brown Keyboards,Background Vocals
Ramon Flores Trumpet
Gary Grant Trumpet
Bill Heller Piano,Keyboards
Jerry Hey Trumpet
Dave Hooper Drums,Vocals
Jeff Kashiwa Saxophone
Eric Marienthal Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Tony Morales Drums
Kim Stone Bass
Paul Taylor Alto Saxophone
Ramon Yslas Percussion,Vocals
Dave Kochanski Keyboards
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Trombone
Andi Howard Background Vocals
Michael Angelo Track Performer
Gary Brown Bass
Russ Freeman Guitar
Technical CreditsGary Brown Programming,Producer
Mark Binder Engineer
Ken Freeman Engineer
Bill Heller Arranger,Programming
Michael Angelo Saulsberry Producer
Alexis Davis Product Development
Bill Mayer Cover Art
Andi Howard Executive Producer,Management
Posie Muliadi Engineer
Nick Sodano Engineer
Russ Freeman Producer,Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Life in the Tropics based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Let the partying begin! The Rippingtons return on yet another new record label but this time it¿s on Russ Freeman¿s Peak Records. Russ has written a ¿hot¿ bunch of songs that fuse the confidence of his band The Rippingtons and many of my favorite contemporary jazz stars. ¿Club Paradiso¿ starts things off with Eric Marienthal giving the chorus a buoyant little swing. ¿Caribbean Breeze¿ has a flamenco feel to it and is punctuated by Peter White on classical guitar. Elsewhere ¿Be Cool¿ has a happy vibe with a killer hook by saxophonist Dave Koz. From there, the tempo heats up on the Latin spiced ¿Rhythm of Your Life¿ featuring lead vocals by Daisy Lourdes Villa, the burning ¿Avenida Del Mar¿ and the festive ¿South Beach Mambo¿. And for more of a cool groove, there¿s the title track featuring Bob James on keyboards and ¿I Found Heaven¿ with vocals by R&B emissary Howard Hewitt. Something for everyone¿the album will please old Ripps fans and is sure to attract new ones. I¿m ready for a Life in the Tropics, are you?
The Rippingtons have done it again. Life in the Tropics brings me back to vacationing on the beach. I love the latin influnce in this album with Russ's stellar guitar work.
Life in the Tropics had me on my feet & moving from the very first song, ''Club Paradiso'', and from there it just keeps getting better. Tropics? Well, I live in the tropics, Hawaii & this is so hot, you want to grab someone & dance in the sand,on a hot sultry night listening to ''I Found Heaven''. This is all heaven, left me wanting more of their sexy sound.