Working for the jazz publication and review website JazzdaGama, Raul da Gama wrote on extensive review about the hit album "Imagination." This collection of eight songs was written and performed by Night Is Alive's own Jeff Rupert in conjunction with
his friend Richard Drexler. Here's a little of what da Gama had to say about it:
"No matter how you listen to this interplay it’s unlikely that you will be anything but convinced of the unforgettable nature of this encounter for it is one that is sure to bring great fame to this music all over again. It’s not difficult to see why. Imagination is, first and foremost, a collection of melodically exquisite songs, beautifully crafted, with a combination of ingenious writing and inspired improvisation on the part of both saxophonist and pianist. The vitality and brilliance of each invention shines forth in the strongest and most appealing orchestral colours. The dynamic range and balance between the instruments is achieved by each artist never seeming to tread on the other’s turf. It’s almost as if soloing is done in a series of shy dance moves as saxophone moves into the spotlight while piano is in the shadows; then switching roles as if by magic so that the other instrumentalist is suddenly spotlighted.
The inspiration of course also comes from the memorable repertoire that seems to have be musical manna, fallen from the sky. The quiet and luscious warmth of Rupert’s playing is particularly exquisite in the flowing tempo of Snowfall as the saxophonist sends up phrase after phrase of delicate ritenutos which gently nudge Drexler into a rarefied realm of his own. The quality of each artist’s playing is extraordinary, with both saxophone and piano falling into characterful soloing seemingly at the drop of a hat. And everything is played as if in the muted rustle of springtime; no raunchy trills or ponderous left-handed bass lines; just silken glissandi and flawless and finely dovetailed playing from Rupert and Drexler as melodic and harmonic changes take place with the right kind of rhythmic attack thrown into the mix. Three outstanding examples of this invisible passing of the torch take place on Tom Jobim’s A Felicidade, Jeff Rupert’s Shakespearean ‘sonnet’, My Mistress’ Eyes and on the Mal Waldron classic Soul Eyes."
Big thanks to JazzdaGama for the positive review! To finish the article, click here.
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