Tuesday, March 3, 2020

CD Review: Jeff Rupert & George Garzone, "The Ripple"

I have a real treat for anyone who loves to listen to the great Tenor Sax players of years gone by.  I just listened to a new CD, "The Ripple" featuring Jeff Rupert and George Garzone that was just released in January of this year and it's a listening celebration of the sounds of great Tenor Sax playing.  The title of this CD refers to the far-reaching effects of the great Lester Young and his playing influence on many of the great players who followed him.  By the late 1930's, Young emerged as the most profound improviser since Louis Armstrong.  He influenced not only Saxophonists, but Pianists, Trombone players and others who learned to improvise through Young.  Loved by all and nicknamed "Prez" by Billie Holiday, Lester Young brought individual style, song and concept to the American Jazz scene that continues to influence Jazz players up to this day.

Jeff Rupert and George Garzone are two of the best Tenor Sax players performing today, and they wanted to acknowledge Lester Young's influence on the style and tone of some of the most famous Tenor Sax players.  There are no songs written or recorded by Young on this CD.  Instead,  it highlight songs that were recorded or composed by some of the musicians influenced by Young, including Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Eddie Harris, Zoot Sims, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and others.  I have featured both Jeff Rupert and George Garzone in my Musician Blog before because they have and still are contributing to the American Jazz scene by performing and educating.  Most recently, I reviewed a wonderful new big band CD by The Flying Horse Big Band that was founded and directed by Jeff Rupert.  Jeff is Trustee Endowed Chair, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Central Florida.  George Garzone is a member of the Fringe, a Jazz trio founded in 1972.  He is also a member of the Grammy-winning Joe Lovano Nonet.  Garzone is a sought-after Jazz educator currently teaching at Berklee College of Music.  He pioneered the triadic chromatic approach.  His students include Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Teadross Avery, Luciana Souza, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Doug Yates and Danilo Perez.

Joining Jeff and George on this CD are some long-standing outstanding musicians and friends, Richard Drexler on Piano, Marty Morell on Drums and Jeremy Allen on Bass.  This CD produces some great sounds and revisits great musical history in a very comfortable way.  It's a winner for all Jazz lovers.

I have attached two "YouTube" videos and picking just two was no easy task because I loved every track.  The first one is "Without A Song" that is a tribute to Joe Henderson's famous version.  The second video is Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" that I think illustrates the duo's reverence for Young's impact.

I want to finish with a quote that I loved from Jeff Rupert, "Working on this music gave me the sense of having two painters collaborating on one canvas.  I think of Monet, Picasso, or Dali, though I'm not sure who George evokes, perhaps all of the above plus Pollock."

1. "Bahia"
2. "Go-Go"
3. "Stardust"
4. "Without A Song"
5. "The Shadow Of Your Smile"
6. "Detour Ahead"
7. "The Red Door"
8. "Red Hop"
9. "Hoboken"
10. "Beauty Becomes You"
11. "Lester Left Town"
12. "Alone Together"


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