Downbeat Magazine
February 2013

Greg Ruggiero
My Little One

Brooklyn-based guitarist Greg Ruggiero is a player of taste and subtlety. His harmonies run warm and lush. But on My Little One, his sophomore release, all of that takes a backseat to The Song. On his website, Ruggiero explains that the tunes were inspired by Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Antônio Carlos Jobim.
The spirit of Jobim is especially evident. “Balance” dances along on Dan Reiser’s infectious samba beat, and the leader’s buttery, Latin- tinged soloing serves as a perfect complement to the lyrics. And the title track, which gives the illusion of a string section by pairing Jon De Lucia’s flute with Christian Frederickson’s cello, hinges on a bossa nova groove. Pockets of My Little One are also in debt to country and pop. “Broken Trail” would fit on a Norah Jones album, with it’s aching piano, twangy guitar, and unfussy trap-kitting. “Chorale,” the album’s lone instrumental, clocks in at less than two minutes. But it’s gorgeous: over a driving drum-and-bass beat, long, determined cello tones intertwine with rough bass thuds and mysterious guitar chords. My Little One could have used a little more of that.
—Brad Farberman

  • New Album Coming Soon

    My new Standards trio recording, “It’s About Time”, will be coming out in May on the Fresh Sound 5000 label. The album features the legendary rhythm section of Murray Wall on bass and Steve Little on drums. I’m excited to release my first Standards record as a leader in a classic guitar trio format. Stay tuned.