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From the Redwoods to the Rockies by Craig Chaquico and Russ Freeman

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From The Redwoods To The Rockies

  • Release date: 10-15-1998
  • Label: Windham Hill Jazz
  • Catalog #: 11380

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By Hilarie Grey – JazzTimes.com

Inspired by the forests and ancient legends of the West, guitarists Russ Freeman and Craig Chaquico team for From the Redwoods to the Rockies (Windham Hill Jazz; 45:05), a sweeping journey boasting rootsy and resonant acoustic textures with a bit of smooth jazz spit-and-polish. From Chaquico’s touching, lightly arranged ballad “Seattle Child,” to Freeman’s striking harmonic music box piece, “Fallen Heroes,” the music here is thoughtfully composed and expressively executed. Each player brings out unexpected strengths in the other-where “Tribal Runner,” a brisk, mysterious piece, finds Freeman’s rhythmic acoustic strums playing off Chaquico’s lightly twisting lead, “Riders of the Ancient Winds” builds a heavily textured landscape around Freeman’s signature smooth sound and Chaquico’s warm, buoyant acoustic pluck. Crisp production helps the sparkling, West Coast textures leap to life.

Customer Reviews

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
By A C
If you have any prior knowledge of the work these two masters have produced, it won’t be possible for you to be disappointed in this recording. Even if you favor Freeman over Chaquico or vice versa, you will come to admire and thoroughly enjoy how these two blend their talents. To say they compliment one another may be an oversimplification of just how amazing they sound together. I bought this CD after hearing only the first few bars of the first track. You won’t need to spend even that little bit of time deciding whether or not you want to add this to your collection. A fan of Chaquico, Freeman, or acoustic guitar in general–no matter which one you are, don’t hesitate to buy this recording! Gentlemen, when is your next collaboration due in stores!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Kurt
I have some very enjoyable CD’s, and this one is at the top of the list. I was stunned the first time I played it. This combination of guitar, piano, percussion, …etc is as good as I have heard. Even after playing it over and over it is as fresh and enjoyable as the first time. The music is great at soft background levels for reading, studying, romance etc. Technically this CD is very well done. At “live event” volume levels and on a higher end system the sound stage is wide and deep. The clairty, focus, imaging and dynamics are more than enough to send waves of emotion all through your body. I hope Chaquico and Freeman do another one !

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
A beautiful album. January 25, 2003
I bought this CD for the opening track, “Riders of the Ancient Winds”, which I had frequently heard on the radio. Sometimes you buy a CD for the one track you’ve heard, and all the other ones turn out to be disappointing. This is definitely not the case here. There are so many terrific tracks, it’s hard to say which is my favorite – they are almost all hauntingly beautiful, conjuring up a variety of moods and atmospheres. I love to put this CD on, close my eyes and drift away. “Seattle Child” evokes a brilliant summer day punctuated by rainshowers. “Change of Seasons” gives me a very powerful mental image of Pacific fog drifting over the redwoods of Marin County in late fall. I could go on describing my response to each track but you will probably have different images and moods. One thing’s for sure, you will never grow tired of listening to this album.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Annon
I’m a person who listens to a variety of music: classical to hard rock, new age to jazz. I had a good feeling about this collaboration before I bought the disc – never even heard a note from it until I brought it home. And I was definitely not disappointed! Each song is a perfect representation of fine musical talent, arrangement, and production. From the tasty swell of guitars and keyboards in the intro of “Riders of the Ancient Winds”, to the playful, wistful manner of “From the Redwoods to the Rockies (Acoustic Reprise)”, the entire collection takes me to the ocean, then to a log cabin in a mountain meadow, and back again to a seaside forest. It’s more than just great tunes, it is truly an experience that caresses the ears. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy this album. Highly, highly recommended – I’d give it 10 stars.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
As a big fan of both Craig’s superb music and Russ’s work with the Rippingtons, seeing this collaberation album was like a fantasy come true! Every tune here is vibrant and ultra melodic, then again what else would you expect from two artists of this caliber? This is a CD you CAN NOT lose with. Do youself a favor and get a copy today! You will never regret doing so.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect Combination! January 8, 2000
What an absolute surprise this album was! I had heard excerpts of it when these 2 toured Philly over the summer, but never expected it to be SO rich. The addition of other masters of “smooth” such as David Benoit and Paul Taylor help to make this a fresh yet soothing CD. Perfectly varied, never monotonous! A MUST for all music lovers!

The pairing of Craig Chaquico and Russ Freeman, two of the most dynamic and innovative best selling guitarists in Smooth Jazz, is much more than simply a marketing director’s dream. “From The Redwoods To The Rockies”, whose title is a tribute to the natural and spiritual connections between their respective home regions, not only reflects the uncanny chemistry the musicians discovered working together, but also the creative freedom both had outside their usual recording commitments. Although never straying too far beyond the wondrous melodic simplicity and rhythmic energy which characterize Grammy-nominated Chaquico’s solo albums on Higher Octave and Freeman’s ten albums as leader of the Rippingtons, “From The Redwoods To The Rockies” gave each a chance to expand their palettes, feed off the other’s unique musical outlooks and draw from that inspiration to create a truly remarkable dual recording.

The Music
1. Riders Of The Ancient Winds 05:14
2. The Maiden And The Warrior 05:23
3. From The Redwoods To The Rockies 04:34
4. Samba Del Luna 05:08
5. Seattle Child 04:25
6. Tribal Runner 05:12
7. Fallen Heroes 04:08
8. Sweetwater 04:37
9. Change Of Seasons 05:09
10. From The Redwoods To The Rockies (Repr.) 01:06

 

The Artists
Craig Chaquico  –  Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Production, Arrangements, Engineering, Mixing
Russ Freeman  –  Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Production, Arrangements, Executive Production, Engineering, Mixing
David Benoit  –  Steinway Grand Piano on “From The Redwoods To The Rockies” and “Samba Del Luna”
Paul Taylor  –  Soprano Saxophone on “The Maiden And The Warrior” and “Change Of Seasons”
Ozzie Ahlers  –  Additional Keyboards and Percussion on “Seattle Child”, “Change Of Seasons” and The Maiden And The Warrior”, Engineering
Bill Heller  –  Additional Keyboards on “Sweetwater” and “Riders Of The Ancient Winds”
Andi Howard  –  Executive Production
Laura Engel  –  Associate Executive Production
Nick Soldano  –  Engineering, Mixing
Clark Germain  –  Engineering
Sonny Medina  –  Art Direction, Photography
Ilene Weingard  –  Art Direction
Malcolm Farley  –  Front Cover Illustration
Recorded and mixed at Cheyanne Mountain Ranch Studios, Colorado from April 13 to June 2, 1998.Additional recording at Luna Tunes, Mill Valley, CA, 29th Studios, Torrence, CA, and Ozworld, Novato, CA.