True Stories from the Rippingtons


True Stories
, the new recording from Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons is out on June 24. I love the fun new cover, presumably done by the masterful Bill Mayer who has done every Rippingtons “jazz cat” illustration.

True Stories album cover from the Rippingtons

The band has been announcing tour dates on Twitter so you will be able to hear the new songs live at some locations around the States. Attendees at the Berks Jazz Fest have already heard some of them – check out Peter Boehi’s recap of the performance. See them from Berks playing the new “Wild Tales” – I like it!

Top of the Chart – July 1988

Reflections by George HowardHere were the top-selling contemporary jazz recordings in summer 1988, according to the July 8, 1988 issue of Billboard!

  1. George Howard – Reflections
  2. Bobby McFerrin – Simple Pleasures
  3. Basia – Time and Tide
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman – Kilamanjaro
  5. David Benoit – Every Step of the Way
  6. Tim Heintz – Searching the Heart
  7. Chick Corea – Eye of the Beholder
  8. Dianne Reeves – Dianne Reeves
  9. Kirk Whalum – And You Know That!
  10. Shadowfax – Folksongs for a Nuclear Village

Entering the chart that week was a number of releases that would be headed toward the top: Spyro Gyra’s Rites of Summer, Politics by Yellowjackets, If This Bass Could Talk by Stanley Clarke, and Sade’s Stronger Than Pride.

Top 10 – Fifteen Years Ago

In the earlier days of this site, I ran a top ten list of the most popular contemporary jazz at the time. This chart was based on sales and radio play. Here were the top 10 from December 5, 1997!

  1. Jonathan Butler, Do You Love Me?, N2K Encoded Music
  2. Bob James, Playin’ Hooky, Warner Bros.
  3. Boney James - Sweet Thing recordingBoney James, Sweet Thing, Warner Bros.
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Black Diamond, Peak/Windham Hill
  5. Brian Culbertson, Secrets, Bluemoon
  6. Chris Botti, Midnight Without You, Verve Forecast
  7. Candy Dulfer, For the Love of You, N2K Encoded Music
  8. Joyce Cooling, Playing It Cool, Heads Up
  9. David Benoit, American Landscape, GRP
  10. Earl Klugh, The Journey, Warner Bros.

Things I Know About Built to Last from the Rippingtons

Though it’s been a while since I considered myself a fan of the Rippingtons, I have always remained interested in the Russ Freeman project. Tourist in Paradise was my first love of contemporary jazz and you never forget your first love.

Built to Last is the new recording by the Rippingtons. Here’s what I’ve gathered about it:

  • It will be released on August 28.
  • It took 15 months to write and record.
  • The first single is “Cougars and Gigolos.”
  • The are 16 tracks on the recording, including four orchestral renditions and a classical guitar reprise of the title track.
  • Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde is featured on the track “Monument/Monolith.”
  • iTunes offers a “deluxe edition” with a bonus track and digital booklet.
  • Bill Mayer contributes yet another outstanding jazz cat illustration for the cover.
  • The range of music goes from “orchestrated, widescreen epics, to lyrical, smooth ballads, and high energy, progressive jazz-rock.”

Sources: Rippingtons official site, Amazon