It's been some years since I bought a Rippingtons album, but I still enjoy those I have from the early/mid nineties, particularly Curves Ahead because that one has a bit more kick and bite than most smooth jazz albums, and every so often I sample some of the band's later output to find out what they're up to these days.
For this album, the band comprises Russ Freeman (writer, producer, engineer, guitars, electric sitar, keyboards, rhythm & bass programming), plus long time cohort Jeff Kashiwa (saxes & EWI), Dave Karosny (drums), Rico Belled (bass) and Bill Heller (keyboards & accordion).
It's a warm and cheery album, all instrumental, and the accordion is a nice touch here and there, with Rick Braun guesting on the closing track, the style of which puts one in mind of Paul Brown. In fact, it's tempting to think that RF ended the album with this track just to show how easy it was for him to emulate Paul Brown's style which, it must be said, doesn't vary much from album to album.
After 25 years of recording, the Rippingtons' catalogue of albums is extensive to say the least and although I don't have room in my collection or space in my listening schedule for all of them, this one is well worthy of recommendation and I'm still enjoying it very much since having first acquired it a couple of years ago. It isn't a milestone of the smooth jazz genre but it's certainly a good listen and a credit to Mr F that he can write (amongst everything else) such a fresh collection of tunes after all this time.
Recorded at what one assumes is Russ Freeman's home studio in Boca Raton, Florida, mixed (variously) by Steve Sykes, Alfredo Matheus and Russ Freeman, with mastering done by maestro Bernie Grundman in Hollywood. Not bad at all.
There isn't an album of The Rippingtons that I don't like. Modern Art was no disappointment. If you love Jazz as much as I do, buy this album and by it quickly, play it loud, play it for your friends, just PLAY IT! It's a brilliant body of work. And as always the cover art is just so cool!
What can I say. I just discovered I have all the Rippingtons' albums. I always ensured I got any new offering and I have never been disappointed. This truly is some great stuff, a must have for the true smooth jazz fans.
Excellent CD with some fantastic guitar and sax melodies. Highly enjoyable. I bought this on Amazon and this was the first time that I have had something shipped from the USA. It arrived very quickly and no problems at all.