A hugely successful instrumental group led by guitarist Russ Freeman, the Rippingtons emerged in California in the late '80s playing a radio-friendly brand of contemporary jazz. The band's first album, 1987's Moonlighting, was a commercial success, buoyed by appearances from Kenny G and David Benoit. Over the course of the band's first decade, they would score six number one Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz albums including 1991's Curves Ahead, 1997's Black Diamond, and 2016's True Stories. Along the way, they also helped launch the careers of several smooth jazz stars including saxophonists Jeff Kashiwa, Dave Koz, and Eric Marienthal. Formed in 1987, the Rippingtons were initially brought together as an all-star studio ensemble led by Russ Freeman. A Nashville native, Freeman had studied music at Cal Arts and UCLA before launching his ...
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