Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces: Green


(Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces)
Release Date: 
Friday, November 6, 2015
Did You Know?

James DeJoie and Greg Campbell collaborate in another group titled QunTetDeJoie.

     Green is an album that only get's better as you create new experiences with it. My first go with the album was through some studio headphones at my desk, and to be honest, my head was left spinning by Campbell's innovative performance throughout, DeJoie's calm to chaotic approach, Wright's subtle nuances and ghostly echoes (among other moods), with Harper laying the tracks as a steady guide through the unexpected.
      I visited the album again through my surround sound system and again in my car as I drove to and from work. Each time, each new environment, either drawing on some past personal experiences the music drew from me, or a feeling of enlightenment brought on by an impressive passage in the music. There's much to hear.
     I was a bit surprised by the fact that the album is written by Guitarist Rik Wright (aside from Alicia's Waltz), but the album doesn't spend a lot of time devoting itself to Wright alone. Some tracks are heavier with the mixture of smooth to masterfully aggressive works from DeJoie, while others feature Wright in a more prominent role. Or better yet, look at a track like Patience which features a slow cool Jazz fusion of Wright's subtle guitar melding with DeJoie's Sax playing, quite literally. Wright has his time to shine, as does DeJoie, but the cusp of the song features the two players in tandem challenging you to listen deeper, defuse the harmonies of both, and to be impressed by their ability to play so tightly around one another.
      I have to admit that Geoff Harper seemed lost on me at first. His Bass playing is so engrained in the mixture of sound that you hear it, but you don't really hear it. There's never a moment where I felt like Harper was flying off into his own groove, but no doubt there's just something incredibly soothing about the way he creates a foundation of calm amongst the plethora of sounds coming from everyone else. The only time Harper comes out from the shadows is during Contradiction, a song that seems like a great opener that allows everyone in the band to toss their hat into the ring.
     Finally you have Greg Campbell.
     People tell me often that when I cover music I come off a bit bias, having grown up on drums, but Campbell does an excellent job on Green that it's hard not to toss praise his way.
     There are of course some excellent drum solo's, but the more impressive notes from Campbell come from his waltzing in and out of each track, changing it up midway through a track and then seemingly improvising before switching back into the structure of the tune to supply a sense of rhythm alongside Harper.

     Overall, from the first listen I was drawn in. The album has nuances that keep the album from feeling stale at any point. Change ups in style are appreciated and homage, whether intentional or not, helped at least myself become more invested in the music. It's not often you can bond with music, but Green is one of those exceptional albums that allows you to do just that. Well worth checking out. Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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