Above the Clouds
January 3, 2004 ~ 'Above The Clouds' CD By Author And Musician Joan Damico Attention all listeners! Anthony Rufo has just released his new CD, 'Above the Clouds' where he takes his imagination and creativity to the maximum and showcases the best of his lyrical and musical talents. Rufo, a karate 'affection ado' relates his musical journey to the ancient philosophy of the martial arts.............. Water is Formless. When you pour it into a cup, it becomes that cup..... When you pour it into a jar It becomes that jar Now water can 'crash' or water can 'flow' Be like water my friend, be like water............Bruce Lee 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 newest and greatest 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. The Songs..... 'Soul searchin' to screechin' and bendin', sinister and sexy, to 'heartfelt' and humble, 'testosterone driven' to 'childlike wonder'.........and the only artist who can brilliantly package an 'upbeat', catchy melody while simoutaneously relaying messages of deep social concerns.'........ Anthony Rufo's tracks on 'Above the Clouds' cover a wide range of instrumental and vocal arrangements. He fuses musical styles, narrows 'generation gaps' and crosses over genres with the intent to appeal to many audiences and all of his fans. Here is an overview of the songs: 'Sweet Destiny'-In the opening track, Rufo begins his journey with a somewhat 'aloof' pop tune including a smokin' guitar solo about a 'love interest' that has him totally out of control. While rockin' to this melodic tune, listen closely; a very vulnerable side of Rufo shines through. '911'-As guitar players pay homage to the technical level attained in this piece, it is also an instrumental work of art, using whammy board fluttering techniques, 'oh-so-slow' vibrato, and the ultimate special effects to create a surreal and virtual 'aftermath' and show reverence, light, and hope to the survivors and the victims of September 11th. 'Sierra Leone'-'When will love stand on it's own' is Rufo's message sung loud and clear and the chorus of this very addictive and 'catchy' tune that cries out to help the underprivileged and third world nations. 'Bon Vivant'-The 'Good Life' baby boomers will be pleased with this retro 'Beatles-feel' love ballad where Rufo exposes his inner most thoughts and feelings questioning aging, manhood, love, risk, challenge and change. 'Flying High'-An instrumental 'sleeper' and a hidden favorite! A tiny jewel with sky scraping saxophone leads and the ultimate positive energy creating emotions to celebrate the theme of 'childlike' joy, inspiration, happiness, completeness and love. 'I Gotta Believe'-This song is a 'must listen to ' driving song. Metal lovers and Hendrix fans will add this to their collection in a second! Don't forget to listen to the words when cruisin'. Amongst the screechin' metal, heavy percussion and rockin' chorus, there is a very spiritual philosophy for the listener to find for himself. Rufo's masterful techniques of producing both musical innovations and deep lyrical messages allow the listener to play this tune over and over again. 'Above the Clouds'-This signature song, with it's dramatic piano introduction, is an instrumental piece that has an 'island' flavor and a playful, calypso quality about it that 'quiets the mind and gently 'soothes the soul.' 'Freedom's Door'-This song is Rufo's 'magnum opus'. A song where instruments take on 'personalities' and layers and layers of melodies are 'mixed down' to create the 'greatest musical sum.' This song speaks up against apathy and urges people to think and feel about their personal, social and political views. A 'heady' ballad with a Bob Dylan flair, and instruments ranging from the B3 Hammond organ to an orchestra of violins, Rufo's sincere commitment to helping others is at the heart of this very talented work. 'Sons of Thunder'-'Bushido'or the way of a warrior' can be felt while listening to this very masculine, sensual and 'cerebrally cool' heavy metal guitar works.Rufo's masterful and ferocious 'fret board' katas bring the use of a variety of exotic scales to new heights while using creative sound effects and the whammy bar to 'taut' a Middle Eastern feel. 'Walkin' The Boards'-'Have fun' with this playful and 'oh so sexy' blues piano arrangement, while findin' your mind a wanderin' while walkin' on the Boardwalk and 'checkin' out the sights!' A 'great time' instrumental for all piano lovers! 'Thank You'-As always, Rufo is appreciative of his fans, and plays a heartfelt, soft, jazz guitar tune to express gratitude in a soft and simple way. 'Sunrise'-Is this the Beach Boys? No, it's Rufo singing an accepello tune. Six voicings are all sung and mixed by Rufo in a 'Barbershop' Quartet' style creating beautiful imagery for the listener. Close your eyes, get your beach chair and immerse yourself in the warmth of the summer sun. 'Six O'Clock News'-'Is that Rufo rapping?' Yeah, and dubbing voices,and layering instruments and playing guitar....... and searching for truth, speaking up against social injustices and concerns, and urging the public to listen and think about what they hear in the media before blindly accepting it as true. A most creative work to say the least! 'Point Pleasant'-This last instrumental track focuses on beauty and centered simplicity and leaves the listener with a 'beautiful release' from an intensely creative and masterful work of art! Compared to the talents of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani, combined with the poetic talents of Bob Dylan and inspired by such greats as Walt Whitman, Norman Vincent Peale and Wayne Dyer, Rufo has accomplished and completed a three year labor of love, setting unreachable standards of excellence for himself and surpassing them. Lastly, and most importantly,' Above the Clouds' reflects Rufo's sincere efforts as a musician and a songwriter to make the world a better place. Songs on the album ebb and flow, crash and burn, and take on a 'life form' of their own as they reflect the artist's unyielding beliefs regarding the resiliency and tenacity of the human spirit. A line in the song Sierra Leone 'Where there is Life, there is Hope', says it best and sends a message 'loud and clear' convincing the listener that a 'ray of light' can shine above all clouds if there is love, faith, hope and desire!