“The Ripple” by Jeff Rupert and George Garzone celebrates the impact that the work of Lester Young had on a host of jazz musicians. Released this week, “The Ripple” features songs that are not necessarily Young’s work, but songs that have been created because of the way Young inspired the musicians who crafted the songs found on “The Ripple.” The concept is ambitious and smart. The result is sophisticated jazz that does not have to try too hard.
With a dozen tracks, some written by Rupert, and others written by such notables as Wayne Shorter, Hoagy Carmichael and Jonny Mandell, in addition to others, “The Ripple” is a smooth reflection on the work of the man that played an important role in the ways jazz developed in the 1930s. In the late 1930s, Young became known as a “profound improviser” and was compared to Louis Armstrong. Because of his unique style, sound and concept, Billie Holiday nicknamed Young “Prez.”
On “The Ripple” Rupert and Garzone play songs by Shorter, Mandell and others that display the original artists’ appreciation for Young’s work. Songs like “Bahia (aka Baia)” by Ary Barroso and “Lester Left Town” by Wayne Shorter are two tracks that should not be missed.
About Jeff Rupert and George Garzone
A veteran saxophonist, Rupert is also a composer and arranger. He has written for Bob Berg, James Moody, Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Drew Jr., Kevin Mahogany and Judy Carmichael. In addition, Rupert has performed and recorded with performers such as Diane Schuur, Mel Torme, Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, and Benny Carter’s Grammy-winning album, “Harlem Renaissance.”
Rupert can be found performing in distinguished venues such as The Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the National concert hall of Taipei, Taiwan, and at jazz festivals in Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Further, Rupert is the Pegasus Distinguished Professor, Trustee Endowed Chair, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Central Florida. He is the founder of Flying Horse Records.
George Garzone, also a saxophonist, is a longtime member of a jazz trio called The Fringe. The group was founded in 1972. Garzone has appeared on more than 20 recordings. He has toured Europe with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and performed with artists such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Rachel Z and John Patitucci.
In addition, Garzone is a member of the Grammy-winning Joe Lovano Nonet. Garzone is renown for his teaching abilities and currently teaches at Berklee College of Music. He is the pioneer of the triadic chromatic approach.
“Bahia” by Jeff Rupert and George Garzone
The ambiance this song creates makes the song worth listening to time and again. With two tenor saxophones, and a relatively sparse backing band that consists of piano, drums and bass, Rupert and Garzone bring a certain era to life. There is sophistication, texture throughout, with alluring saxophone work on top of everything else. This is the kind of jazz that makes people want to figure out a story behind the song.
Punchy, yet emotive phrases from all instruments at various times propels the song. The energy is inescapable, and listeners are compelled to hear it again.
“Lester Left Town” by Jeff Rupert and George Garzone
A fast-paced, swinging song in the hands of Rupert and Garzone, this Wayne Shorter classic has also been recorded by Lee Morgan and Art Blakely.
The saxophones zing against the stylish clack of drums. There is an energetic saxophone showcase that allows audiences to hear the leaders play off each other and take turns in a showcase. The stellar musicianship is fascinating to hear.
Newly released, but full of classic sounds, ” The Ripple” is must-have jazz.