Jeff Rupert with George Garzone is reviewed by All About Jazz with The Ripple

Two Twin-Tenor Duos

The idea of two tenor saxophonists playing together has a long, storied history in jazz through pairings like Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, and Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. Such duos have become harder to find in recent years but here are two newer examples.

Jeff Rupert -George Garzone
The Ripple
Rupe Media
2020

The title of this CD refers to the sound and influence of Lester Young, the first master of the subtle “cool school” tenor playing that both of these saxophonists favor. Florida-based Jeff Rupert plays in a smooth Stan Getz-influenced style while Boston legend George Garzone throws knottier and more abstract figures into his playing. The two mesh nicely, whether seamlessly fitting together on tunes like the bossa nova “Bahia” or chasing one another on an up-tempo romp through “Without A Song.” On “Detour Ahead” and “The Red Door” especially, the contrast stands out as Rupert dances over the rhythm in straight, freewheeling lines while Garzone throws sour inflections and freak noises into his potent solos.

The duo also trade sassy blues choruses on “Red Top,” play lustrously on Rupert’s “Beauty Becomes Her,” a sighing ballad with a hint of Billy Strayhorn‘s “Chelsea Bridge” and enjoy athletic workouts on Wayne Shorter‘s “Lester Left Town” where pianist Richard Drexler also gets a chance to stretch his muscles. This sessions of two separate but equal voices is a joy throughout.

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