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Rippingtons Smooth Cruise recap July 24, 2009

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal, Travel.
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On Wednesday, I returned aboard the Spirit of New York for the 6:30 PM sunset cruise out of Chelsea Piers’ Pier 61 in New York, New York, to catch the weekly Smooth Cruise.  Last year, I was on hand for Spyro Gyra.  This time, it was the Rippingtons.  It was the first time I had seen them since August 2007 at the since-closed IMAC.

My parents, sister, and I left for Chelsea Piers around 4:25.  About 15 minutes in, as we were on the Long Island Expwy. (L.I.E., I-495), I started taking pictures from my seat in the back of the car.  You may remember I did the same thing going to and from Smooth Jazz for Scholars in May.

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Last exit in Nassau County:
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Last exit before the tollbooth for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel:
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In Manhattan:
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Herald Square/Macy’s:
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11th Ave.:
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We turned at West 24th St. and again at 12th Ave.:
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The Spirit’s cruise route took as down the Hudson River, through New York Harbor, up the East River, and back. Unlike last year, I didn’t spend much time on the Empire Deck bow, but I did take a few pictures when I was out there.

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The Empire Deck (second floor) is where the concert took place.

The Rippingtons featured Russ Freeman on acoustic and electric guitars:
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Dave Karasony on drums:
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Bill Heller on the keyboard:
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Rico Belled on bass:
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And special guest Jeff Kashiwa on alto and soprano saxophones and EWI (“E-wee”; electronic wind instrument):
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1. Faith
Originally heard on: “Brave New World,” 1996; Russ’ solo album “Holiday,” 1995
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2. Welcome to the St. James’ Club
Originally heard on: “Welcome to the St. James’ Club,” 1990

Jeff switched back and forth from EWI and alto sax:
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3. Modern Art
Originally heard on: “Modern Art,” 2009

I spent a few minutes on the bow during this song to take pictures.

Lower Manhattan:
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Brooklyn Bridge:
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The Brooklyn-Queens Expwy. (B.Q.E.; I-278):
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Back inside, Bill Heller used a vocoder for the last few lines of “Modern Art”:
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Ballad Medley:
4a. Victoria’s Secret
Originally heard on: “Welcome to the St. James’ Club,” 1990

Jeff was on soprano sax for this…
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…and for…
4b. Pastels On Canvas
Originally heard on: “Modern Art,” 2009

4c. Vienna
Originally heard on: “Weekend In Monaco,” 1992

Here, Jeff returned to EWI:
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5. Aspen
Originally heard on: “Curves Ahead,” 1991

These pictures were taken from my table:
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Jeff was one deck above on soprano sax, but I had no idea until after the song was over when he came down the stairs, sax in hand.  I looked away for a minute and he was gone.  I heard him, but didn’t see him.

I returned to the stage for…
6. Spirits in the Canyon
Originally heard on: “Topaz,” 1999
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Bill had an extended solo midway through:
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7. Santa Fe Trail
Originally heard on: “Curves Ahead,” 1991

I looked out the window and noticed we were near the Statue of Liberty.  So, I went outside to take two shots of that.
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Picturesque, isn’t it?

Back inside…
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A wild drum solo by Dave!
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Wow!

Then, a break from Ripps tunes for one song by Jeff:
8. When It Feels Good
Originally heard on: “Back In The Day,” 2009
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9. Body Art
Originally heard on: “Modern Art,” 2009
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Bill returned to vocoder…
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…for Rico’s funky bass solo:
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That was the last song of the set…or was it?

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ENCORE
10.
Black Diamond
Originally heard on: “Black Diamond,” 1997

Jeff played EWI once more on this:
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11. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix cover)
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12. Fire (Jimi Hendrix cover)

“Purple Haze” featured two lines of vocals from Rico and more vocoder from Bill.

On “Fire,” Rico sang the first few lines…
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…and Jeff and Voco-Bill backed up the chorus:
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And that was it.
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There was a meet and greet one deck below.

Here I am with Russ, Rico, Jeff, Bill, and Dave:
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Me with my friend Kat Sarracco and Dave:
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Kat was aboard for both the 6:30 and 9:30 cruises.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise and concert for me this year.  Or as my friend Ryan Grabow would put it, it was a Ripping good time.

7/27 UPDATE: Kat’s pics can be seen here and here.

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