Greg Ruggiero: Balance

The eight original compositions that make up guitarist Greg Ruggiero’s debut recording have a deeply introspective air, with gently rocking rhythms and simply stated melodies that often give the album an instrumental pop feeling. But there’s plenty of emotional depth here, too, as Ruggiero quietly draws delicate, ethereal designs with electric and acoustic guitars, levitating on Frank LoCastro’s sympathetic piano and keyboard patterns. Rob Wilkerson’s sweet alto saxophone brings the quartet back to earth, while Tommy Crane’s drumming supports the melodies and eases them forward.