Robert Jospe's Inner Rhythm at Rapture; William Walter & Tucker Rogers at Orbit

By Damani Harrison

One can easily distinguish those players who have found harmony with their instrument and those who are still working out the kinks. I find myself dipping in and out of venues around town in search of energy that radiates from the stage when a band or musician has found perfect accord. The love they demonstrate for the music and their instrument permeates every fiber of the audience.
A drummer comes to mind instantly when I think of perfect harmony: Robert Jospé.
If you haven’t seen him and his ensemble, Inner Rhythm, then you are truly missing out on one of Charlottesville’s great musical treasures. The group sets up shop Thursday nights at Rapture. This particular Thursday the group was nothing short of amazing– amazing in the way each musician (drums, bass, keys, sax, guitar) moved in perfect unison through song after song of soul-catching jazz.
Jospé controlled the swing, all the while never quite losing that contented half-grin that has become his trademark expression. That evening his drums spoke truth while Bobby Read’s saxophone sang the notes of all things good into the air. Robert Jospé’s Inner Rhythm didn’t just make music… they made love.
The following Sunday I went again in search of that special feeling. This time I found myself sitting in Orbit listening to William Walter & Tucker Rogers. There is something twangy, soulful, rocky, and trippy about the music those two make on acoustic guitars. Regardless of how much I tend to turn up my nose up at singer-songwriter types, I can’t help but be moved by more than a few of their songs.
William Walter’s writing is raw and pure. Each song tells a complete story. Tucker Rogers has a gift: he can take any song, no matter how rugged, and make it peaceful. The addition of Andy Rowland on sax enhanced the magic.
As the trio crooned about love and life for the comfortable audience, I could see how each one had formed a connection with his instrument. The music being created that night was deep and honest.