While most artists merely appreciate the applause of their fans, Russ Freeman and his Rippingtons literally take requests; though they had put out Live in L.A. in 1993, their rabid fans flooded the band's official website with requests for another live date, and this set (recorded in numerous locations throughout the U.S. on 1999's Topaz tour) is the fun-filled result. Several factors make this essential even for fans who have the first live disc: first, there are three new key players who help turn the energy level higher than before, saxman Paul Taylor, drummer Dave Hooper and percussionist Ramon Yslas. There's also a looser, more jamming and improvisational feeling, with many of the familiar tracks given significant arrangement facelifts apart from their studio counterparts. Cases in point are the eight and a half minute clapalong "Jewel Thieves" (which showcases Kim Stone's intense bass soloing) and "Summer Lovers," which breaks at one point for Taylor to blow off some soulful, spontaneous steam. Freeman's rock guitar chops have gotten more confident over the years, which makes the blistering Hendrix tribute "Purple Haze/Fire" (featuring loopy vocals by Stone and Taylor), an unforgettable reminder that the leader is a monster player as well as a great composer/producer. Bookending the set are the hard-edged guitar- and sax-driven "Road Warriors" (which sums up the frenetic tour experience) and the laid-back "Kabuki," which Freeman and Stone wrote and recorded one day at sound check.
Performance CreditsRippingtons Primary Artist
Scott Breadman Percussion
Bill Heller Keyboards
Dave Hooper Drums
Dave Karasony Drums
Eric Marienthal Saxophone
Kim Stone Bass
Paul Taylor Saxophone
Ramon Yslas Percussion
Nick Sodano Recorder
Russ Freeman Guitar
Technical CreditsJimi Hendrix Composer
Andi Howard Executive Producer
Nick Sodano Producer,Engineer,Tour Manager
D. Ogas Engineer
Russ Freeman Producer,Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have had the Rippingtons' live album Live in LA for many years, and it is one of my favorites. When I found out about this newer live album, I got it, and it is in no way a disappointment. They play the tunes very well, with lots of energy and taste.
Haven't heard this forthcoming release, but the Rips 'live' - on stage or on CD - is a much-anticipated event. Heard/seen/enjoyed the Rips on stage several times. Have each Rippingtons' CD; 'Moonlighting' is still my all-time fave jazz CD.