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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!