Jazz Journal May 2012 review (My Little One)

Two words seem to recur here, in titles and lyrics. They are “simple” and “light”, the latter as in illumination. They surface in A Simple Gift, Glowing, in the words to the title track and elsewhere – enough to establish a kind of theme and they are or suggest his cardinal virtues. The guitarist’s name is on the marquee but its singer Luisa Sobral who occupies the foreground, delivering songs of startling directness and emotional candor.

Ruggiero is a formidable songwriter above all, working in an unmistakable jazz vein but with an almost folkish strain. Sobral’s faintly husky, almost spoken delivery very quickly casts a spell. A Christmas Wish is lovely and well worth the reprise, winning the Whammy rosette for the most mournfully pretty Yuletide love song ever. It’s the title track again which delivers the sucker punch: “How do I write a simple song for you / that gives you all you’ve given me?” There’s nothing more to say.

Ruggiero doesn’t overdo the octaves or tripletty fills. He’s often a very quiet presence on his own record and it’s more often Rende who leads the accompaniment, bringing weight with organ against cello, spaciousness on piano, a shimmer from the Rhodes. In Grinch mode I might say I didn’t much like Broken Trail, but it grows with each return, a song whose awkwardness isn’t a problem, but its own subject. My Little One is an almost perfect record of it type, which is a type you don’t come across very often any more.

By Brian Morton (Jazz Journal 2012)

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All About Jazz Reviews Balance

You can read All About Jazz‘s review of my new album, Balance, here.

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Weekly Alibi Article | V.16 No.50 | December 13 – 19, 2007 | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Greg Ruggiero’s Balance
Albuquerque native returns to celebrate release of new CD

By Mel Minter

Greg Ruggiero and his guitar

Warm and liquid, the music of jazz guitarist Greg Ruggiero slides into the ear so easily, you don’t notice until it’s already had its way with you. The first signs include a slowing of the breath, a relaxed attentiveness and a heightened awareness of one’s blessings.

With his first CD, Balance (Fresh Sound New Talent), out this year, Ruggiero is establishing himself as a unique voice on the highly competitive New York City scene. On Saturday, Albuquerque fans will get their first chance in months to hear his latest musical developments when the Greg Ruggiero Quartet appears at the Outpost.

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  • New Album

    My Little One

    Much of the music on “My Little One” was inspired by my love for the classic recordings of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Billy Holiday, and Frank Sinatra. The songs are nostalgic in nature and may recall the feeling of classic standards, yet still have a modern aesthetic in approach. In creating this atmosphere, the band is made up of a wonderful group of musicians. The record features a Portuguese vocalist, Luisa Sobral; drummer, Dan Reiser; bassist, Gary Wang; and Pete Rende plays on a multitude of keyboard instruments.