While this instrumental track is now over 13 years old, I find myself playing it of late. From The Rippingtons‘ Life in the Tropics album, Russ Freeman‘s acoustic guitar work with Caribbean Breeze shows its distinct latin influence in the contemporary smooth jazz piece. Paula Edelstein over at Allmusic covered why this old Jazz Fusion fan migrated over to its later offshoot:
“…the first Peak Records release for the Rippingtons — features guitarist Russ Freeman and is a great smooth jazz celebration of rhythmic delights that resemble the tropical splendor of an island oasis. The natural beauty of each composition is reflected by the great talents of the Rippingtons: Kim Stone on bass, Dave Kochanski on keyboards, Ramon Yslas on percussion, and Dave Hooper on drums, along with special guests the great saxophonists Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, and Paul Taylor, keyboardist Bob James, and guitarist Peter White.”
The track, one among a splendid mix of contemporary jazz instrumentals and vocals (especially Daisy Villa with Rhythm of Your Life), remains a highlight. The fact that my old fusion favorite, Bob James, made an appearance on the album was another. Caribbean Breeze endures for its warm and breezy stylings, making it perfect for those cold, wintry January days when you rather be on a tropical beach somewhere. Preferably, there’s a hammock and drink involved. Enjoy.