Monday, February 1, 2016

Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces, Green

Guitarist Rik Wright and his Fundamental Forces quartet have been coming out with music for some time now, basically in a jazz-rock vein. I've listened and appreciated, but their latest, Green (Booshkaboo CD), seems to me to be their best yet, catapulting them onto a higher plane that works within the parameters they have set down but gaining strength by long association and a loosely-tight ease that comes in part from that protracted togetherness.

Yes, I suppose you could say that this still dwells in a mainstream matrix not untypical of what is coming to our ears today, but there is a something extra, an increased presence of combustible energy and eloquence, and an ever more substantial quality to the compositions-tunes taken on.

The quartet is of course Rik on electric guitar, James DeJoie on alto, baritone, clarinet and flute, Geoff Harper on acoustic bass and Greg Campbell on drums. Rik gives us a moderately electric sound with some nice chordal aspects and a knack to put together clean and concise solos that do not pigeonhole him as follower of x, y or z. James DeJoie plays an adventuresome set of reeds with his own way, with fire and finesse. Geoff firmly anchors the group at all times with rock-steady presence and a full tone. Greg gives the band a definite kick with strength and ways of turning the beat, expanding it, finding a fired motility to send the band to good places.

The tunes, one by DeJoie, the rest by Wright, have something about them that makes the outing worthwhile, much more than a blowing date.

So that's my take. Rik Wright comes into his own with this one and the quartet makes a statement that takes them well out of the ordinary for dates like this. Nice!

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