The Rippingtons – Côte D’Azur

Listening to Côte D’Azur, by the Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, is like watching a half each of two different movies. Several songs sound like they’re set in dance clubs where techno or electronica reigns. The rest depend less on electronic effects.

Côte D’Azur, translated in English as Coast Azure, is more commonly known in the Western world as the French Riviera. This region of southern France inspired Freeman’s songwriting. His wife, singer/songwriter Yaredt Leon, is part French.

In addition to Freeman, the Rippingtons are Rico Belled on bass, Dave Karasony on drums, Bill Heller on keyboards and Jeff Kashiwa on saxophones.

Sainte Maxime is an upbeat groove that features some of Freeman’s elegant guitar play, partnered with saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa’s crystal clear alto. The bass, drum and keyboard parts are subtle but effective. Guitar and sax blend beautifully on the melody.

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