411

Jeff Rupert: From Memphis to Mobile

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Sound and swing. It seems that these two elements of the very DNA of jazz are sadly absent from much of what is offered up in some of today's recorded music. It might be smooth or contrived, but much that's heard doesn't seem in synch with the very essence of the art form. Happily, with From Memphis to Mobile, saxophonist Jeff Rupert and cohorts excel supremely at both sounding and swinging.

The CD offers up eleven selections that provide a terrific sonic showcase for Rupert and his band mates. Accompanied by a fine rhythm section consisting of the marvelously swinging Kenny Drew, Jr., bassist Richard Drexler and drummer John Jenkins, the group provides a wonderfully tasteful and swinging effort. Lyman Brodie's flugelhorn adds a nice dimension, too, on "Walkin' Home. More of him, please.

Rupert, an ex-Maynard Ferguson "Big Bop Noveau" tenor, has an inviting silk-sound that is never harsh, yet speaks so lyrically it's almost vocal. Rupert sounds like Stan Getz on the tenor, cascading over changes fluidly with restraint and taste on "Bad Moon" and "Beatrice.." He also shows fine compositional chops with seven unique originals. "Basin Street Blues," complete with a classic quote from Louis Armstrong) and other elements displayed across the disc, indicates that Rupert knows where his roots are. He salutes and serves them with swinging, Southern spice.

As expected with a title drawn from an American classic—"Blues in the Night"—the CD is painted blue throughout, but notably on "Rock Skippin'" and "Thunderbird. Rupert soulfully shades blue all across the effort, including "If I Had Only Known" and "I Loves You Porgy." Drew's keyboard does the same with flame on Rupert's express-ive blue train of "The Norfolk Southern RR." "Chasin' Tail" is a high-speed runaway for the group to push the pace furiously and close to the edge. Duke Ellington's "A Single Petal of a Rose," here delivered magnificently, secures Rupert's and Drew's places as deserving acolytes and soon-to-be masters.

The production, recording and engineering values are excellent. Kudos to co-producers Scott Elias and Rupert. From Memphis to Mobile is an elegantly swinging, enjoyable recording. Hop aboard this train.

Track Listing: Rock Skippin'; Bad Moon; If I Had Only Known; Beatrice; The Norfolk Southern RR; I Loves You, Porgy; Chasin' Tail; Walking Home; Basin Street Blues; Thunderbird; A Single Petal of a Rose.

Personnel: Jeff Rupert: tenor sax; Kenny Drew, Jr.: piano; Richard Drexler: bass; John Jenkins: drums; Lyman Brodie: flugelhorn (8).

Title: From Memphis to Mobile | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Random Act Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy" CD/LP/Track Review History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings
by Doug Collette
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor