by Douglas Reid
Blue ...Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces
Seattle, Washington based guitarist and composer Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces album Blue is the debut mastermind of Rik Wright. The group is comprised of Rik Wright (guitar), James DeJoie (bass clarinet, alto sax, flute), Geoff Harper (bass) and Greg Campbell (percussion and drums) all have years of experience on the bandstand, with Rik Wright amassing decades of guitar and composing experience, Blue was certainly well overdue.
The tracks have a jazz / rock vibe, a signature sound that Rik Wright’s music is known for. Having grown up with the influence of guitarists Jeff Beck and Jim Hall it is no wonder that Rik Wright has such a wide range of sound and style in his music. All the songs were wonderfully written and composed by Rik Wright.
The album opens with “Mood Ring” which shows off Wright’s ability as a melodic stylist. A unison melody is created with clarinet and guitar that propels the song into Wright’s effected guitar melody, while drummer Campbell creates and active pallet for soloing. Reed player DeJoie offers up many textures on this offering, but on “Moody Ring,” he chooses the clarinet as his axe of choice. Rik’s tremendous ability shines from the beginning to the end and he possesses the skill to combine all the talents of his fellow bandmates into each and every song.
The offering flutters along with “Butterfly Effect,” which features Wright’s guitar skills in full force, with an added amount of reverb for a unique sound and effect. This leads you into “Nonchalant” a deeply groovy cut which prominently features DeJoie’s skills on the bass clarinet, again bassist Geoff Harper and drummer Greg Campbell create a slinky canvas for soloists DeJoie and Wright to paint up with vibrant result.
“Parting Ways” is a tremendous song with emotive flute by DeJoie setting the mood, an almost ancient Tibetan gong sound intermixed with flute, giving it a mind opening experience before being joined by bassist Harper and drummer Campbell who set the pace and invoke the rhythmic theme. Wright creates effectual swells with guitar that elevates the cut to a powerful listen.
The album concludes with “Miss Thing” which happens to be the longest song on the album, as it stretches a full 12 minutes long. Each player takes their time to develop their statements. It features long instrumentals that rise to a crescendo and settle in only to rise again. It is obvious that Wright was influenced by some of the best rock guitarists of our time. Blue is the result of 6 hours of studio recording and the result is 42 minutes of pure magic. Highly Recommended.
Album Tracks: Mood Ring, Butterfly Effect, Nonchalant, Parting Ways and Miss Things
Band Members: Rik Wright (Guitar), James De Joie (Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax and Flute), Geoff Harper (Bass Guitar) and Greg Campbell (percussion and drums).
Record label: Hipsync Records