All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

The Rippingtons: Built to Last

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count


Bandleader, guitarists and songwriter Russ Freeman pulls no stops on the Rippingtons' 25th anniversary release, Built to Last, featuring a full orchestra to complement the sound of his compositions, has he runs the gamut of the sounds that have influenced him throughout the years, moving from movie score-like tunes to heavy metal, country & western and retro-sounding jazz.

The album kicks off with the title tune, which sounds as if it belongs in a film soundtrack. Lush strings introduce the theme and the rest of the orchestra follows through before Freeman's programming takes front and center, setting the tone for the rest of the disc. The song is later reprised in a classical arrangement, featuring Freeman's acoustic guitar and a few subtle orchestral notes. The latter is the better of the two, since it provides the chance to hear the bandleader without the sonic wall that is behind him on the first attempt.

The "Route 66" on this disc is not a remake of Bobby Troup's R&B standard; Instead, it is a Freeman composition that nods to straight-ahead jazz, featuring a solo by saxophonist Jeff Koshiwa. Here the bandleader avoids using too much programming, instead featuring the orchestra's (uncredited) musicians as a backdrop for both his and Koshiwa's grooves and improvisations. It is one of the best tracks on the disc for specifically that reason—because it differs so much from the rest of the material on it. "Cougars and Gigolos" travels to old-school Nashville (Freeman mentions having had guitar lessons with session guitarist John Pell), mixing acoustic guitar riffs with well-placed slide and electric guitar grooves.

Also notable is "Monument/Monolith," a tune that goes completely out of form with a long percussion intro and then a raucous solo from heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde, who takes the tune to a completely different direction with his much distorted electric guitar.

Track Listing: Built to Last; American Panorama; Fool's Gold; Hotel Deville;Cougars & Gigolos; Route 66; In the Shadow of Giants; Black Oak; We Made a New World; Monument/Monolith; Firefly; Built to Last (Classical Guitar Reprise); Fools' Gold (Orchestra); Black Oak (Orchestra); Hotel Deville (Orchestra); Built to Last (Orchestra).

Personnel: Russ Freeman: guitar, orchestrations, programming; Jeff Koshiwa: saxophone; Zakk Wylde: guitar.

Title: Built to Last | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: eOne Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
True Stories

True Stories

Peak Records
2016

buy
Fountain of Youth

Fountain of Youth

eOne Music
2014

buy
Built to Last

Built to Last

eOne Music
2012

buy
Cote D' Azur

Cote D' Azur

Peak Records
2011

buy
Modern Art

Modern Art

Peak Records
2009

buy
20th Anniversary

20th Anniversary

Peak Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Plastic Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Plastic Sun
by Chris May
Published: April 11, 2018
Read "Song of No Regrets" CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Resting Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Resting Spirit
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Wobbly Dance Flower" CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Dance Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017