There are two Russ Freemans. 1) A smooth jazz guitarist. 2) A West Coast cool jazz pianist. 1) Though his name seems fairly unknown outside the realm of contemporary/smooth jazz, James Russell was born February 11, 1960. Freeman has been displaying his many talents in a prolific manner for nearly two decades. Primarily known for his guitar work (and his production/recording wizardry) Russ is the force behind The Rippingtons, a contemporary-jazz group that has counted many of the genre's elite among its members: David Benoit, Steve Reid, Tony Morales, Kenny G., and many others. Russ' work combines formidable chops with pleasing melodies and super-slick production: all the earmarks of the "Smooth Jazz" genre of which Russ and The Rippingtons have been pivotal in defining. You should check out his projects with David Benoit called "The Benoit - Freeman Project" 2) Russ Freeman was born in Chicago in 1926. He is best known for is work as a sideman, particularly with Chet Baker and Shelly Manne, but he also recorded a few albums as leader for Pacific Jazz in the fifties.