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Modern Art

The RippingtonsAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Price: $8.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2009 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2009 $8.66  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Modern Art (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Paris Groove (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Black Book (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pastels On Canvas (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. One Step Closer (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Still Believe (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Body Art (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Age Of Reason (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Sweet Lullaby (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Jet Set (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Love Story (Album Version) [feat. Russ Freeman] 4:02$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Modern Art + Cote D'Azur + Built To Last
Price for all three: $30.54

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 10, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Peak Records
  • ASIN: B001R0KH2S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This 2009 album from the premier contemporary band is an infectious mix of Jazz, Latin and Pop instrumental songs laced with intoxicating melodies. This is a 'must have' CD for all Smooth Jazz fans! Faithfully led by Russ Freeman, the band also features Dave Karasony, Rico Belled, Bill Heller and Jeff Kashiwa plus a special guest appearance from Rick Braun.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consistent but not brilliant March 11, 2009
Format:Audio CD
OK, Rippingtons fans - what does this new CD, "Modern Art", sound like with the return of one-time sax/wind player Jeff Kashiwa, the absence of long-time bassist Kim Stone, and the departure of percussion effects/congas/etc. completely?

The answer is not bad. Kashiwa brings his "A" game, blowing the heck out of the sax and really grooving. And some of Russ Freeman's guitar work interplays well with Kashiwa. There's also some nice piano/keyboard lines from Bill Heller, although some of it is definitely dated in the 80s. The bass/drums are mixed extremely well and really bring a lot of thump to the tracks, but the bass lines are not at all distinctive like you could expect from Stone. And, typical of latter-day Rippingtons work, the keyboards add a feel of rhythm with looped effects.

However, the songs are not really distinctive. The lack of percussion helps bring a sameness to the sound, although Kahiwa alleviates this some by changing the sax type (soprano, alto, etc.). The sameness to the songs is both good and bad. There aren't any throwaway songs that make me want to fall asleep or skip the songs, but there also aren't any of those "wow" songs I expect from the Ripps. It's all very pleasant, but it reminds me of the last two Steely Dan albums - comfortable and not challenging, so nice but not near the standards expected by the group.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different sound for the Rippingtons March 11, 2009
Format:Audio CD
First and foremost. Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons are in a league of their own. I own every CD they have ever released as well as individual efforts by the various band members. However, this latest work, which I have been waiting patiently for, is very well done but it doesn't have that vintage Rippingtons sound that made me an avid fan. Each of the tracks are very well composed and refined but to me they sound too much like the mainstream. Case in point, if someone played any Rippingtons song from their past albums, I would know without a doubt who was playing without being told. However, I cannot say the same for this particular work. No knock on this album though, it does sound very good. It just does not possess that vintage Rippington's sound that I personally was hoping for. I am already looking forward to their next release, "Go Ripps!!!"
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another phoned-in effort March 17, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I have been a fan of Russ Freeman's guitar playing since his "Nocturnal Playground" album in 1985, and a Ripps fan since their debut disc, "Moonlighting", came out in 1987. I have acquired every one of their CDs since; so this review is somewhat painful for me to write.

Their last few albums, sad to say, seem like throw-away afforts from this fine player, who has proven that he has the chops to equal the elite of modern jazz guitarists. This new effort, "Modern Art", falls into the same trap as their last three albums. It tries so hard to play it safe (for the sake of radio airplay, perhaps), that it dares not tread into more spirited, uptempo territory with high-flying guitar solos and terrific interplay with the horn player (in this case, Jeff Kashiwa, returning to the band after an absence of several albums). It would have been great to hear some new tracks of THAT type of Rippingtons music.

I'm of the opinion that artists are right to go for as much airplay as possible, and that's a tough nut to crack in an age when there are so few radio stations that embrace this type of music. But, as a serious fan, I hope that, once I get the disc home, there will be a few gems that are too adventurous for radio on it, but which show what a musician or a band can really do when they "let it rip". Unfortunately, such is not the case here.

Fans yearning for a signature Ripps tune, like "Tourist in Paradise" or "Curves Ahead", will find slim pickings here. New listeners who hear this disc as their first exposure to the group are hardly likely to think of this music as cutting-edge fusion or contemporary jazz, the way fans of the '80's and '90s's versions of the group think of them. What lies inside the cover of this disc is more smoooooooth jazz, without any desire to get any more adventurous than that.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Rippingtons album with no new ground broken March 14, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Let's just work our way through this one track by track.

1). "Modern Art"...a "Quiet Storm / Smooth Jazz" FM Radio-friendly opening track. The plus is that Russ Freeman can be heard on the track, there is no fake Santana rhythm section, and the horns are part of the mix, not a squealing, honking annoyance as on the last few "high energy" efforts from the Ripps. The track is harmless, hardly memorable, but alt least a step back toward the more balanced Rippingtons sound.

2). "Paris Groove"...not bad, some tasteful and melodic Freeman acoustic guitar, once again a welcome return to the pre-"Let It Ripp" Rippingtons sound. The flips side is that if you found the "Let It Ripp" album to be a life-altering experience, you may not be as delighted as I am. This one's even more radio-friendly than the opening track (and "meatier" as a composition...good job Russ).

3). "Black Book"...A full minute into this track, the melody is still tentatively creeping up over the bass vamp...this is ambient background music, not the kind of thing I would actually listen to for enjoyment. By minute two we have a few more layers, but the problem is that it is so similar to every one of the similar "Quiet Storm" smooth jazz songs you've heard on the radio that you have to ask yourself...what will make you remember this track?

4). "Pastel On Canvas"...We're four tracks into this album and we can see that Russ Freeman might have been listening to the feedback regarding the absence of his guitar playing on the last few albums (or the fact that it was buried at the bottom of a busy and cacophonous mix). Pleasant, yet still not "grab you by the lapels and demand your attention" stuff.

5). "One Step Closer"...This band really needs to push the envelope and try something new.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by Margie Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as with anything Ripps, just amazing
Published 3 months ago by Pups Place
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD
I am a huge fan of The Rippingtons and this one fits right in with the rest of them. Clean bass, drums, guitar, and quality lead work.
Published 4 months ago by James R. Lovas
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Good
This group excels at whatever they play. I purchased this as a gift for my nephew, who bikes everyday. Read more
Published 8 months ago by silvia elias
2.0 out of 5 stars Back To The Future.....
I haven't bought a Ripps disc, in quite a while. It's not all bad, but...where is the growth??? The sound, songs, cover art, etc. hasn't changed since it's inception. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Maui...No Ka Oi
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite group
I have been listening to this group for years. I am glad to add this to my collection. I am glad to find it on amazon
Published 15 months ago by David Haskins
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
Love the Rippingtons, This 49 minute album is one of the best smooth jazz albums available on the market. There are several breakout tunes, but most are straight smooth jazz genre.
Published 16 months ago by S. Sykes
5.0 out of 5 stars A Retrospective Pleasure
This compilation seems a bit reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s: Back in the days of Freeman, Portman, Reid, Stone, Kashiwa, et al. Read more
Published 21 months ago by markdown
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Jazz
This is another great album by The Rippingtons......a must have addition to your collection, or begin a collection with this album and others by this group.
Published 22 months ago by Elise A. Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Unexpected Treat
I'm new to the Rippingtons, but still I've managed to download 11 of their studio albums in the last several months. Read more
Published on September 26, 2012 by Brian Jackson
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