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Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces | Red

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United States - Washington

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Rock: Instrumental Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Red

by Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces

Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces is a modern jazz ensemble that blends forward thinking arrangements with a core groove that listeners can tap their toe to.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. (She's So) Fragmented
9:01 $0.99
2. Yearning
4:13 $0.99
3. Subtle Energy
13:15 album only
4. Single Angularity
10:37 album only
5. Synesthesia
8:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
On Red, Rik Wright’s second disc in a trilogy of colors, the Seattle-based guitarist deepens the camaraderie he has for years now shared with multi-instrumentalist James DeJoie (reeds and flute), bassist Geoff Harper, and drummer-percussionist Greg Campbell. As Fundamental Forces, this fearless foursome continues the conversation begun on Blue (released 2013 on Hipsync Records), adding new stories along the way.

Although Wright dabbled in rock early on in his career—the riffs of Led Zeppelin have been just as important an inspiration as the fluid stylings of John Abercrombie—his tastes have consistently fueled a cool pilot light of inspiration, honed over decades in a distinctly jazzy glow. Consequently, the passage of time has stripped his sound to its core grooves. One shouldn’t take this to mean that his approach is in any way reductive. Rather, its very simplicity lends itself to creative improvisational ornaments from his bandmates. Never losing sight of the center, even when the periphery goes wild: this is the conceptual backbone of Fundamental Forces.

Because his reach extends beyond the usual jazz demographic, one can note on Red a mixture of styles. One hears this in his fondness for contrasting elements, as epitomized by the album’s penultimate tune, “Single Angularity.” In addition to being a prime vehicle for DeJoie’s baritone saxophone, its seemingly oxymoronic title shows what the band is capable of in its finest hour. What seems a contradiction in theory becomes organic in practice. Although both this and the album’s second track, “Yearning,” were taken from a live performance on KEXP’s Sonarchy Radio show, that same live energy is also evident in the studio tracks, especially in the concluding “Synesthesia,” a dreamier tune of David Lynch-esque proportions.

Listeners of all stripes will find much to admire in the album’s patient approach. At nine and thirteen minutes respectively, “(She’s so) Fragmented” and “Subtle Energy” exemplify Wright’s groove-oriented approach, unraveling long flights of improvisation from prewritten runways. He and DeJoie (this time on alto sax), as the melodic front line navigate every change of direction with a lucid, descriptive awareness. All the while, Harper and Campbell keep true to the album’s inner heartbeat, completing a larger picture of passionate expression.

Despite its eclectic influences, Red is consistently engaging. The music is edgy without being confrontational, lyrical without being sappy, and atmospheric without losing its grip on melody. Wright and his bandmates really dig deep for this outing, expanding their listenership with infectious themes and comprehensive execution.

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