Credit the Rhythm Future Quartet with effectively retracing and building on a vintage style that combines distinctly Django-esque Gypsy-jazz motifs with strains contributed by a varied group of guest artists. While the music on this, the group’s enticing third album, makes occasional detours—guest vocalist Cyrille Aimée’s sweet serenade on the lilting “Solitude,” and the deft picking and skittish violin employed in “Olli’s Bossa” providing the two most obvious examples—the majority of these 13 tracks hold to a generally jazzy delivery.
The core combo sustains that spirited approach via Greg Loughman’s pronounced bass lines and the solid foundation served up by the quartet as a whole, but it’s the nimble picking of guitarists Olli Soikkeli and Max O’Rourke (and, on the track “Sleepless,” special guest Stochelo Rosenberg), in tandem with the assured strokes of violinist Jason Anick, that establishes the tone and tempo. More often than not, it’s the fretwork and strings that provide dueling dynamics. And it’s the combination of strut and sway that make the music so distinctive, whether it is the jaunty pacing of “Minor Blues,” the spunky rhythms of “Tricotism,” or the more stoic sensibilities of “Treetops” and “Jazz Crimes.”
Thanks to the plucking and picking of the guitars, as well as Anick’s vibrant violin, the majority of these arrangements come across as both intricate and spontaneous. With finesse and frivolity served up in equal measure, consider this effort a genuine feast of friends.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.