Jeff Rupert, George Garzone (tenor sax); Richard Drexler (piano); Jeremy Allen (bass); Marty Morell (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The two tenor line-up has long been a favourite of mine. How could it not be when you think of such legendary pairings as Wardell Gray & Dexter Gordon; Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt; Sonny Stitt & Red Holloway – so amply demonstrated back at Newcastle’s Corner House in the 1980s – Lockjaw and Johnny Griffin; Al and Zoot and, of course, the best of them all (said with nationalistic pride) The Jazz Couriers. Tubbs and Ronnie took the format to a new level and, if this Stateside offering doesn’t topple the champions they come within the tip of a Rico number 2 reed of doing it!
Dedicated to Lester Young who influenced so many modern tenor men – paradoxically Sonny Rollins took the Hawkins route – this is a fine tribute. Both players have an individual sound and, I suspect that it is Rupert who has the marginally lighter sound but I could be wrong! Rupert is featured on his own Beauty Becomes Her whilst Garzone is featured on The Shadow of your Smile.
This is Lester via Getz, this is Lester via Zoot, this is Lester’s legacy in the language of today’s jazz, as I see it, scene.
The two horns may have top billing but, Drexler on piano is of equal stature with some amazing solos and Allen and Morell underpin the whole shebang. I close my eyes, turn the volume up and it’s hard not to believe I’m sitting in a NYC 52nd St. club back in the day. Even though it’s a studio recording there is a live feeling to it. All that is missing is the the background noise of someone ordering a pastrami on rye sandwich. Maybe if I turn the volume up next door will provide some background noise, they usually do when I’m practising but, then again, I’m not Jeff Rupert or George Garzone!
Next stop the car stereo – the ultimate accolade for a review CD.
Bahia; Go-Go; Stardust; Without a Song; The Shadow of Your Smile; Detour Ahead; The Red Door; Red Top; Hoboken; Beauty Becomes Her; Lester Left town; Alone Together.