Rufftone Records Releases “SoundArt” featuring Don McKenzie II and Emanuel Ruffler
“The thundering drums flirt with a 70’s spaced-out synth similar to the P-Funk style. unleashing an endless groove. Just imagine yourself in a cult Blaxploitation flick with Pam Grier as dance partner.”
- Last Day Deaf
SoundArt features the musical aesthetics of two of New York’s most exciting creative musicians - combined into a progressive, hard-driving and richly colored statement. Built around the thundering drums of Don McKenzie II, this duo boils musical ingredients down to their elements: Rhythm, Sound, Melody and Harmony, possibly in this order…
Don McKenzie II and Emanuel Ruffler have been collaborators for years. A musical dialogue started back in 2002 during a weekly engagement at the Elbow Room on Bleecker street - and continued there for over 18 Months. Spontaneity and improvisation was required, these well-attended concerts on the side stage lasted all night. Since then both have expanded their reach and created impressive musical associations. Mr. McKenzie with a list of avant-garde artists like Elliot Sharp, Marc Ribot and Vernon Reid, recently collaborating with visual artist Renee Cox on “Sacred Geometry”. McKenzie’s work in hip hop includes backing prolific artists such as P.Diddy, Grave Diggaz, New Kingdom, DJ Spinna, Mr. Complex, Martin Luther, Cody ChesnuTT. Mr. Ruffler has been branching out with his own compositions, the New York times describes his music “…he spread a tablecloth of a melody over the background, separating the instruments and he let polyphony break out.”
SoundArt is augmented on three tracks by an internationally acclaimed horn section, comprised of Duane Eubanks on trumpet, Johnny Butler on baritone sax. Tivon Pennicott can be heard on tenor sax and flute; he is this year’s runner-up in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition.
There is a contrast running through SoundArt: Mr. McKenzie’s talent goes across the barline, originating from a single, powerful drum hit. His creativity knows no boundaries and neither does his lifestyle. Mr. Ruffler on the other hand is a conservatory trained composer, hailing from Munich, Germany - and the rich harmonies in his keyboards portray this sensitivity. Put together, these contrasting sources and personalities create a unique sound that has been captivating listeners.
SoundArt is performing in New York and is exploring concert opportunities for 2019.