Tag: Jazz

Guitar World Interview Russ Freeman and The Rippingtons Are ‘Built To Last’

In the early 1980s, a few years before Russ Freeman gathered a bunch of his L.A. musician friends together to create the groundbreaking Rippingtons debut Moonlighting, the multi-talented guitarist and composer spent time on TV sound stages listening to orchestras play. On the band’s new album Built To Last,  Freeman pays homage to those days, working with orchestral textures for the first time in addition to opening up new realms of creativity that transcend expectation.

Built To Last also celebrates one of contemporary jazz’s most enduring legacies; a twenty-five year journey that spans nearly twenty albums. The album has universal appeal, with elements of jazz, rock, pop and country combined into one eclectic mix of sonic art.

But Freeman and the Ripps really go for broke on the metal world with the music mash “Monument Monolith,” a freewheeling blast of intensity on which Freeman complements his acoustic guitar with a little of everything you’ve never heard before: “angry cannibals with boiling pots” on percussion, orchestra, solo violin and a blistering solo by heavy metal great Zakk Wylde for good measure!

I spoke with Freeman to get his thoughts on the new Rippingtons album and on celebrating a quarter century of great music!

Read the rest of my article and interview with Russ Freeman by clicking here.

Guitar World Interview: Guitarist Lee Ritenour Delivers ‘Rhythm Sessions’

In a career that spans five decades and more than forty albums, guitarist Lee Ritenour has developed a unique balance between the wisdom of experience and the enthusiasm of youth. Ritenour’s 2010 album, “6 String Theory” focused primarily on guitar and featured the winners of his 2009 guitar competition alongside guest appearances by guitar greats BB King, Steve Lukather and Slash among others.

For his new album, “Rhythm Sessions” Ritenour has added the winners of his 2012 Rhythm Section Competition which includes aspiring keyboardists, bassists and percussionists as well. The result is an album of sonic euphoria. From catchy songs like “The Village” and “LA By Bike” to the hypnotic vocal of Zamajobe on a remake of Stereophonics “Maybe Tomorrow”, there are elements that will appeal to both guitar and jazz fans alike.

I had the chance to speak with Ritenour about Rhythm Sessions, the competition and a really cool story about his days as a session player.

Check out the rest of my Guitar World interview with Lee Ritneour Here!

NEXT Collective’s Cover Art : An Album Worth Checking Out

Fans of contemporary jazz, r&b, hip hop and alternative rock have reason to celebrate. On February 26, Concord Jazz will release Cover Art, a new recording by NEXT Collective; an ensemble recording by the next generation of jazz greats that features saxophonists Logan Richardson and Walter Smith III, guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardists Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Jamire Williams, and special guest trumpeter, Christian Scott.

The album, produced by Chris Dunn and NEXT Collective, features jazz interpretations of contemporary pop, hip-hop and R&B songs by such artists as Bon Iver, Drake, N.E.R.D, Little Dragon, Pearl Jam and Jay Z and Kanye West.

The range and feel of the music on Cover Art speaks both to the arranging talents of the members and also to the diversity of their collective tastes. Hip-hop and punk-funk, singer-songwriter, guitar-pop, electro-R&B and alt-rock are all integrated and explored by these jazz innovators.

Fans can get a sneak peak of the full album with an iTunes’ 3-track exclusive that exemplifies the diversity and daringness of the musicians involved. Included are covers of Jay Z and Kanye West’s “No Church In the Wild,” D’Angelo’s “Africa,” and Pearl Jam’s “Oceans.” Cover Art is definitely an album worth checking out!

You can listen to samples and purchase the preview release by clicking here

Complete Album Listing:

1. Twice (Little Dragon)

2. No Church In The Wild (Jay Z and Kanye West)

3. Africa (D’Angelo)

4. Fly Or Die (N.E.R.D)

5. Oceans (Pearl Jam)

6. Refractions In The Plastic Pulse (Stereolab)

7. Marvins Room (Drake)

8. Come Smoke My Herb (Meshell Ndegeocello)

9. Perth (Bon Iver)

10. Thank You (Dido)