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Music / The Rippingtons

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The Rippingtons are a contemporary jazz group mainly relating to the genres smooth jazz, jazz pop, and crossover jazz. Formed in 1986 by guitarist and band leader Russ Freeman, their career has spanned four decades. With a revolving door of musicians, Freeman has been the only consistent member.

In the early to mid-1990s they were closer to a jazz/rock instrumental band, but since 1999 they have developed into the smooth jazz genre. Many of their songs have also been played during The Weather Channel's Local on The 8's forecast segments. The band's mascot is a blue, grinning, sunglasses-wearing, jazz cat which appears in the artwork of all the band's releases and on their official website.


Studio albums

  • 1986 - Moonlighting
  • 1988 - Kilimanjaro
  • 1989 - Tourist in Paradise
  • 1990 - Welcome to the St. James' Club
  • 1991 - Curves Ahead
  • 1992 - Weekend in Monaco
  • 1994 - Sahara
  • 1996 - Brave New World
  • 1997 - Black Diamond
  • 1999 - Topaz
  • 2000 - Life in the Tropics
  • 2003 - Let it Ripp
  • 2005 - Wild Card
  • 2006 - 20th Anniversary
  • 2009 - Modern Art
  • 2011 - Côte D'Azur
  • 2012 - Built to Last
  • 2014 - Fountain of Youth
  • 2016 - True Stories
  • 2019 - Open Road


Live albums

  • 1993 - Live in L.A. (Recorded September 1992)
  • 2002 - Live Across America (Recorded 1999)


  • 1997 - The Best of the Rippingtons

Tropes found in their music include:

  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The Jazz Cat is always seen smiling on every album cover he's appeared on.
  • Cool Shades: The Jazz Cat sports a pair of these.
  • Cover Version: "Back Stabbers" (Leon Huff / John Whitehead / Gene McFadden), "Let's Stay Together" (Wille Mitchell /Al Green/ Al Jackson), "I'll Be Around" (Phil Murtt / Thomas Bell), "Caravan of Love" (Ernie Isley / Marvin Isley / Chris Jasper), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison), and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" (Gene McFadden / John Whitehead / Jerry Cohen).
  • Instrumental: Nearly all of their songs are instrumentals.
  • Title Track: The studio albums each have one.
  • Weather Report: Sort of. While some tracks do have weather-related names, that's not the main reason for this trope. Up until their switch to in-house production tracks in 2013, The Weather Channel frequently used Rippingtons songs during their 30-120 second Local Forecast (later Local on the 8s) segments. Brave New World, the title track from 1996's Brave New World, was even featured again in 2016-17 as The Weather Channel began using smooth jazz tracks they themselves had licensed for two compilation albums in 2007 and 2008.