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Above the Clouds
Above The Clouds" CD
By Author Joan Damico
Dramatically diverse, compelling, provocative, inspirational, viscerally "hot", alluring, raw, passionate and driven are among a few of the qualities that have burst open the "floodgates" cascading Anthony Rufo's technical prowess and musical creativity in his second CD, "Above the Clouds." For Rufo, a third degree black belt in karate, and a Sensei of the martial arts, getting in the "flow" of a project and tapping into the "ki" or internal power is his life line and the key to his natural spontaneity, and somewhat unorthodox musical style. Rufo states that "Emptying one's cup to grow and evolve" is his secret to keeping his vision about music young, fresh, different and alive.
Always a versatile musician, he certainly has evolved since the days of "Makin" Waves". "Above the Clouds" is more than a CD. Outside of it's mesmerizing musical wizardry, it is Rufo's "life works"- a philosophy of social justice and passion, freedom and fun, inspiration and respect, introspection, natural beauty and simplicity; all values that Rufo holds close to his heart. His gifted perceptiveness enables him to musically create and then capture and hold emotions hostage for a few minutes as they reveal themselves to the listener with conviction and clarity. With high energy, an unyielding commitment and obsessive abandon, Rufo can create great melodic and literary depth that captivates an audience of the most critical musicians and listeners alike
Always creating and evolving, Rufo spent the last few years remaking and metamorphizing his musical self into his third CD, "Passionate Presence", which "opens the door" to a very personal side of Rufo, and takes the listener on an emotional journey very close to his heart. "It's more edgy, and allows for some other style expressions to shine through", says Rufo, when asked about the CD. "I used funkadelic jazz grooves with meter changes splashed around metal riffs in one song...and then turn around, and expose a darker, more sardonic side of me through some pretty heartfelt lyrics and acoustic guitar strumming in another"...."To me, this is my most exciting work to date". "It is providing me with a chance to recreate and challenge myself; to stretch, provide a very different, yet broader appeal to the masses".
"Passionate Presence" is a fusion of vocal and instrumental songs that takes the listener on a musical journey that includes blues, rock, metal, and jazz flavors with a touch of acoustic landscapes.
New Jersey area guitarist Anthony Rufo has released his CD of instrumental guitar works, entitled Makin' Waves. The eight guitar-dominated tracks are based in the rock genre, but overall, cover a wide sonic territory (like the solo guitar intro to "Imagination"). In addition to guitar, Rufo also provides piano, keyboards and Hammond B-3 instrumentation, while the project is anchored by the drumming of Johnnie Adams. Rufo's compositions allow plenty of room to stretch, as numbers such as "Imagination", "Kathryn" and "Sanctifying Grace" crack the seven-minute mark. These are balanced by quick-hitters such as the Hammond-driven "Cruisin'" and the opener "Tonester Bushido", which kind of sums up a lot of Rufo's rock playing - with a funky rhythm intro, exotically scaled leads, and an overdriven, whammy-enriched, two-handed tapping, legato section. Overall, Rufo goes for the heart and soul of guitar expression.