Going Green With Rik Wright

Bruce Von Stiers

Thirty years ago or so, going from the world of rock music to jazz might have been seen as too much of an artist stretch. But over the years a lot of musical styles have meshed and blended together. So it shouldn't be a surprise for people who listened to Rik Wright's rock music years ago to learn that he's now doing jazz. Rik even put together a band with music that melds rock and jazz together in an interesting way. The band is called Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces. They recorded two albums, both with names of colors, Blue and Red.

Now Rik has come out with a brand new album. Following the color theme Rik started with, this album is titled Green. It is being released on the Hipsync Records label. There are eight songs on the album and it has a play time of forty-one minutes.

The members of the band are Greg Campbell on drums and percussion, Geoff Harper on bass and James DeJoie on alto and bari sax. James also plays the clarinet and flute on the album. Rik plays guitar on all of the songs.

The album was produced by Rik and Doug Haire. Rik wrote all but one of the songs. James DeJoie wrote the other one.

The album starts out with a song titled Contradiction. It begins with a guitar bit that makes it seem like a late 60's rock song. But then things move onto a subtle jazz groove with cool sax. Later the song gets pretty busy with the sax competing with guitar, bass and drums for top spot.

The front end of the song Sugar Crash seems like it would be the background music in a fast paced adventure film scene from the late 60's. I know, there goes the pop culture references again. But the music on this album did make me think of that era a lot. From that intro, the song settles down into a nice guitar emphasized stride. And then about halfway through the song, the sax takes over.

Patience is the title of the third song. It is a nice and easy piece that features subtle guitar.

That is followed by Harmonic Tremor. Like its title suggests, this is a fast paced, toe-tapping song. It has some really cool sax that once again reminded me of 60's styled music.

Alicia's Waltz begins slow and endearing with flute music being prominent. The flute continues throughout the song.

Wanderous is a song that starts out like a light rock ballad and then moves into a subtle jazz beat. The guitar has an almost haunting sound as it leads the song. There are some quite different transitions during the course of the song. At points the song sounds almost like it meshed classic jazz with fusion and acid rock.

Sunrise Pixels is a light song that features the guitar.

The album concludes with Overcast. It has sax and guitar joining together as a kind of medley. That is back by subtle drums.

Green is definitely a different kind of jazz album. Rik Wright has taken bits from his musical past and incorporated them into a mix that is part jazz, part rock and fusion. Although the album doesn't fit the normal mode of jazz music, it is entertaining none the less.

To find out more about Green and Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces, check out Rik's official web site at www.rikwright.com .


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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers