595

Greg Ruggiero: Balance

Farrell Lowe By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Ruggiero: Balance With Balance, guitarist Greg Ruggiero makes it clear that he is an artist with something to say, both through his instrument and his writing. This is not to imply that the music is a template for showy pyrotechnics, but rather a display of subtle technique and thoughtful composition. His pieces have the dynamic feel and grace of West Coast Cool coupled with the modern compositional sheen of the current New York scene. The music unfolds, revealing its strength with understatement and a beautiful warmth, much like the music of the late Jimmy Giuffre, while Ruggiero's guitar work is reminiscent of Jim Hall in its shared aesthetic of warm, distinctive tone and harmonic approach.

Another reference point could be the current music of Kevin Eubanks for many of the same reasons. Rarely taking extended solos, Ruggiero tends to concentrate on the overall ensemble sound, rounding out his compositions with an emphasis on harmonic shading, distinctive time displacements, and the role of each instrument involved in the pieces. He switches between electric, acoustic and classical guitars in an effort to integrate tonal colorations to great effect. He has plenty to say, but never thumps anyone over the head with it.

The idea of an ensemble working together as one voice seems to be of utmost importance. Every member handles the music with poise and deft sensibility, which brings a radiant and monolithic character to the overall sound. Ruggiero's warm guitar tones blend beautifully with Rob Wilkerson's alto and Frank LoCrasto's Fender Rhodes piano; when combined, they bring about a shimmering and seductively undulant sound that never becomes overly sentimental or sappy. There is a delicate balance between light and dark, exposition and introspection, and the known and unknown.

One of the more interesting aspects of this music is how Ruggiero deals with time, with the interaction between his guitar and the rhythm section quite compelling. While the overall warmth of the music is inviting, there is an undercurrent that reveals itself through note choice and time displacement that betrays a depth of power to the music that is truly captivating.


Track Listing: Answer; This Life; A Losing Battle; Balance; The Way Out West; Ethereal; Paper Cranes; My Better Half.

Personnel: Greg Ruggiero: electric, acoustic, classical guitars, vocals; Rob Wilkerson: alto saxophone; Frank LoCrasto: piano, Fender Rhodes, ARP Odyssey; Matt Brewer: bass; Tommy Crane: drums, percussion.

Title: Balance | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Fly South" CD/LP/Track Review Fly South
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 10, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.