Monday, August 10, 2009
Blending tight fusion grooves and tricksy Canterbury scene-style arrangements ensures that Boston’s Ra Quintet self-titled debut never falls victim to attention-seeking displays.
Carefully structured, their music sometimes has the ornate qualities of Gentle Giant -particularly the impressive counterpoint of Good Knowledge - without ever compromising the innate sense of swing that takes the album more jazz than jazz-rock territories.
With the bulk of the material written by guitarist Brent Grieshaber, it’s perhaps natural that his sustained fuzz tones which dart and thread throughout the razor-sharp tunes tends dominate the foreground. Yet sturdy and supple support comes from Rich Greenblatt’s fluid vibes playing and some gorgeously rich bowed bass add to an air of eclectic refinement.