NYC Jazz Record reviews Jeff Rupert with George Garzone, The Ripple

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NYC Jazz Record – January 2021 issue

by Marco Congiano

Jeff Rupert with George Garzone, The Ripple

Jeff Rupert
“The Ripple” refers to the widespread influence Lester Young had on modern jazz. To prove the point, Jeff Rupert and George Garzone do not showcase any of Young’s compositions or even tunes recorded by him but instead assembled a repertoire of tunes written and/or executed by musicians influenced by him. The list is long and includes modern giants such as Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson. While the Lee Konitz/Warne Marsh quintet may come across as a natural reference, given the contrapuntal dialogue between the two saxophones, it is Young’s sound and style filtered through Stan Getz’ experience that dominates the proceedings. This is more evident in Rupert’s supple phrasing and sound (his “Go-Go” being a clear example), whereas Garzone is more of his own man and occasionally pushes the envelope, as in Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”. The group is rounded out by the very congenial trio of Richard Drexler (piano), Jeremy Allen (bass) and Marty Morrell (drums). Although the brunt of the solos are carried by the co-leaders, Drexler has his fair share of solo outings delivered with impeccable taste. Allen and Morrell could not provide a more relaxed and hard-swinging anchor. The former’s solo in Ben Kynard-Lionel Hampton’s “Red Top” is not to be missed.Rupert’s three inspired originals, aforementioned “Go-Go”, “Hoboken” and ”Beauty Becomes Her”, capture particularly well the Young/Getz legacy and atmosphere. The other tunes are all well-known standards, but Rupert and Garzone’s interpretations are as fresh as they were playing them for the very first time.Among the highlights are lovely versions of the ballads “The Shadow of Your Smile” (Johnny Mandel-Paul Francis Webster) and “Detour Ahead” (Herb Ellis-John Frigo-Lou Carter), in which Rupert and Garzone duel in terms of their capacity to reinvigorate the immortal melodies. Blues-infused “Red Top” is taken at a brisk tempo, triggering Garzone’s more surreal side. Shorter’s “Lester Left Town” is a statement to its composer and influence—how long before a similar CD is put together about Shorter’s legacy? The CD is aptly concluded by an impromptu duet between the saxophones, meandering through Arthur Schwartz-Howard Dietz’ “Alone Together”. The ripple will linger for quite a while in the listeners’ ears
Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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