Black Diamond is the latest release from Rippingtons, and I can only think of one word to describe this CD AWESOME!
This one grabs your attention right from the very beginning with Black Diamond and won't let go until the very last note of the very last song Jewel Thieves, which by the way is another great track.
Black Diamond has a pleasantly varied, mix of 11 tracks that are very well written and brilliantly performed songs by these clearly outstanding musicians. With many of the songs displaying a lot of the kind emotion that makes for a really great listen. Seemingly drawing from what I can only imagine are their own real life experiences. At different points touching on the most real emotions of love, heartbreak, pain, failed relationships and unattainable romance. They're all here.
One of the nicer things about a CD like this is when the talent is this rich even if Smooth Jazz isn't your favorite style you still can't help but appreciate the greatness of the musicians.
I'm of the opinion that Black Diamond is certainly some of this groups best work in a few years. A totally enjoyable CD and an outstanding release. What I call must have music. I give it two thumbs up because it's a collection that even the casual Smooth Jazz fan can appreciate and enjoy.
While this entire album is really very good some of my favorites are track 2 - Deep Powder, track 5 - In Another Life, and track 3 - Seven Nights In Rome
My SmoothLee Bonus Pick, and the one that got Sore [...as in "Stuck On REpeat"] is track 7 - If I Owned The World. Outstanding!
Black Diamond Release Notes:
Rippingtons originally released Black Diamond on Sep 16, 1997 on the Windham Hill Jazz label.
CD Track List Follows:
1. Black Diamond 2. Deep Powder 3. Seven Nights In Rome 4. Soul Seeker 5. In Another Life 6. Big Sky 7. If I Owned The World 8. North Peak 9. Angel Fire 10. Jewel Thieves 11. Black Diamond - (acoustic version)
Personnel: Russ Freeman (acoustic, electric, classical, slide, baritone & 12-string guitars, mandolin, keyboards, bass, percussion, loops, drum programming); Mark Williamson (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Jeff Kashiwa (soprano & tenor saxophones, EWI); Nelson Rangell (alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Arturo Sandoval, Mark Ledford (trumpet); David Kochanski (piano, organ, keyboards, drum programming); Brian Moore (guitar, 12-string guitar); Kim Stone (bass, fretless bass); Steve Reid, Pete Escovedo (percussion).