Russ Freeman (guitarist)
|Born||February 11, 1960|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genres||Smooth jazz, jazz fusion|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, record producer, record label owner|
|Associated acts||The Rippingtons|
Life and career
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Freeman started on guitar when he was ten years old. His first teacher was a session musician in Nashville who knew his father. He followed his teacher around Nashville studios and after six years worked in a variety of sessions as a professional guitarist. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work playing for commercials and with vocalists Englebert Humperdinck and Anne Murray. He cites George Benson and Larry Carlton as influences.
For one year he attended the California Institute of the Arts. He recorded his first solo album, Nocturnal Playground. In 1985, he founded the band The Rippingtons as an opportunity to record with a variety of musicians. The first version of the band included David Benoit, Fields, Kenny G, and Dave Koz. By 1993, the Rippingtons had solidified into a sextet of Freeman, Jeff Kashiwa on saxophone, Dave Kochanski on keyboards, Kim Stone on bass guitar, Tony Morales on drums, and Steve Reid on percussion. In 1994 Freeman reunited with Benoit for The Benoit/Freeman Project. Freeman and his manager, Andi Howard, formed Peak Records in 1994. In 1998 he collaborated with guitarist Craig Chaquico of Starship for the album From the Redwoods to the Rockies.
A record producer and arranger, Freeman also plays bass guitar, keyboards, and drums. His music can be heard during The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s segments, and his song "Brave New World" is included in the 2008 compilation album, The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II.
- University School of Nashville, Tennessee, Distinguished Alumni Award, 1995
- Nocturnal Playground (Brainchild, 1985)
- Kilimanjaro (GRP, 1989)
- Sahara (GRP, 1994)
- The Benoit/Freeman Project (with David Benoit) (GRP, 1994)
- Brave New World (GRP, 1995)
- Holiday (GRP, 1995)
- From the Redwoods to the Rockies (with Craig Chaquico) (Windham Hill, 1998)
- Drive (Peak, 2002)
- The Benoit/Freeman Project 2 (Peak, 2004)
- Côte d'Azur (Concord Jazz/Peak, 2011)
- Fountain of Youth (Entertainment One, 2014)
- True Stories (Entertainment One, 2016)
- Lannert, John (1991-02-22). "Name Game Aside, Freeman Delivers". sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (15 December 1987). "Jazz Fuses With Country for a Top 10 Sound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 853. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
- Wilkins, Woodrow (6 April 2009). "The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman: Modern Art". All About Jazz. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Whitmer, Mike (2011-05-19). "CD review: Rippingtons and Freeman bring the house on new CD". deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- "Russ Freeman | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 October 2016.