Let It Ripp
label: peak records
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Freeman’s band, The Rippingtons, is a hard case. What we
have is a damn fine band in a fairly disrespected genre: smooth/lite/contemporary
jazz. Let it Ripp, their twelfth album, is a perfect
example of talented cats making great music and doing it with
style. If your taste in jazz refuses to go beyond Winford or Monk
and you think Pat Methany is elevator music, then giddy-up, your
high horse is awaitin’!
In the liner notes, Freeman conveys his
enthusiasm for creating an album with no outside musicians (with
the exception of a horn section) that appeals to their audience’s
want for “our high energy stuff”. This album comes
off as just that; a labor of love from the band to their fans.
CD opens with the title track, a swinging declaration of confidence.
The album continues in this vein until the fourth song. "A
Private Getaway" fills this listener's head with visions
of Spanish sunsets enjoyed from the deck of a yacht. "High
Life" sounds for all the world like a lost Gap Band tune.
"17 Mile Drive" explodes off the tee in a Woodsian (hey
did I just make up a new word?) fashion and lands softly. "Get
Over It" finishes the album with an Island beat and Freeman
showing his guitar prowess.
Song by song, there is not a loser in the bunch. Though the boys
rarely stray from the fun, upbeat stuff, you can hear all the
influences that make great musicians: rock, funk, R&B, spanish
guitar, salsa. The added horn section gives you a tower of power
that drives many of these compositions to a live, party atmosphere.
forget what the critics say about “smooth” jazz. Forget
that Kenny G was once a member. Drop the top after a hard day
and turn up the volume. Slide it into the system at dinner when
“mood” is essential. There is nothing wrong with good
music and there is definitely something right with Let It
01-Aug-2003 8:20 AM
liked Let It Ripp...
Let It Ripp
2. Mr. 3
3. Lucky Charm
4. A Private Getaway
5. High Life
7. Bella Luna
9. 17 Mile Drive
10. Cast A Spell
11. Get Over It