Moonlight-textured blues comes out of Jeff Rupert‘s saxophone as easily as rain showers from a nimbus cloud. Joined by stride pianist Richard Dexler, the pair weave nocturnal bliss on their new release Imagination from Rupe Media. The silky lines of Rupert’s saxophone combined with the wispy strands of Dexler’s piano make for a wide breadth of lackadaisical moods and calming atmospherics. Neatly composed and melodically arranged, the recording is in the ilk of such noteworthy artists as Mel Torme and Billy Strayhorn.
Smooth and fluid, “Snowfall” conjures up images in the listener’s mind of warm nights walking aimlessly along softly lit avenues. The gentle tone and liquid texture of the music stimulates the audience’s imagination, putting them in the mood to chill out and find pleasure in the simple task of relaxing. The ambling rhythm of the pair strolling along “Strange Meadowlark” brings out the cushiony qualities of their instruments furling around each other, forming passages that paint splotches of color with no defined shape. The motifs glimmer in vibrant shades through the title track, spurring the imagination to travel freely.
The musings of the saxophone and piano sauntering along “A Felicidade” move parallel, forming sonnets that ponder and reflect in two distinct voices, sharing their space and sounding agreeable about the arrangement. The pair’s ruminations can go on for eternity if permitted. Radiating a moonlight glow across “My Mistress’ Eyes,” the duo glide around each other like formless silhouettes. Their transparency allow them to occupy the same space without colliding into one another or producing friction. They simply blend into each other as they wander spontaneously. The harmony they create is uplifting and surges with pleasing sensations.
The pair sprinkle notes softly applied slowly, mindful of keeping a balladry gait with a dulcet consistency. The duo’s release lets loose in an unpretentious manner, finding freedom of expression in being warm and tender. Though consistently mellow and sparse, the two shout with an inner voice that is deeply emotional and shows a maturity exemplary of musicians who have mastered their instrument.
Jeff Rupert-saxophone, Richard Dexler-piano
“Without a Song,” “I Can’t Help It” “Snowfall,” “Strangle Meadowlark,” “Imagination,” “A Felicidade,” “My Mistress’ Eyes,” “Soul Eyes”