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In 1998, Russ Freeman took a break from the Rippingtons to team up with fellow guitarist Craig Chaquico to produce musical journeyFrom the Redwoods to the Rockies. While both guitarists play electric and acoustic axes, the overall feeling tends towards acoustic. The composition credits are split pretty evenly among the pair, with half of the ten tunes being joint compositions, but the results end up more similar to Chaquico's previous output than Freeman's. Russ Freeman adds keyboards and most of the bass, drums, and percussion programming, but the program still retains a natural, live feel rather than that of monotonous loops. Pianist David Benoit and saxophonist Paul Taylor make guest appearances on two tunes each to provide sonic variety. Overall, an enjoyable and well-done program. It's something different for those who are accustomed to hearing Freeman in his Rippingtons context, or even previous solo efforts. (Peak/Windham Hill Jazz 11380)
Tracks:Riders of the Ancient Winds; The Maiden and the Warrior; From the Redwoods to the Rockies; Samba Del Luna; Seattle Child; Tribal Runner; Fallen Heroes; Sweetwater; Change of Seasons; From the Redwoods to the Rockies (Acoustic Reprise). (45:05)
Craig Chaquico, acoustic and electric guitar; Russ Freeman, acoustic, electric, 12-string, classical, and baritone guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion; David Benoit, piano; Paul Taylor, soprano sax; Ozzie Ahlers, keyboards and percussion; Bill Heller, keyboards.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.