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Magnificent Madness

John Klemmer

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Album Review

With John Klemmer signing to Elektra/Asylum after eight years with ABC and later MCA, Magnificent Madness represents an update to a sleeker, radio-friendly pop-jazz sound. Although he was one of the more deep players and thinkers, Klemmer often had a difficult time making it click. The majority of his post-Touch albums, like LifeStyle (Living & Loving) and the solo sax effort Cry (Solo Saxophone I), will attest to this. A new label seemed to awaken his sensibilities, as Magnificent Madness is in line with the smooth, confident sound that is on the finer jazz/pop albums of the time. Unlike many of his albums, Klemmer also does quite a few covers here. His trademark Echoplex and tenor sax work is a perfect match for Isaac Hayes' "Don't Take Your Love Away" and a slightly sped-up and Latin-ized take on Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It." The cover of "Deja Vu" attains the longing of Dionne Warwick's original. While it was good to see Klemmer not searching in vein for Touch part two or three, the originals on Magnificent Madness have him more relaxed, as evidenced in his spare and fulfilling playing on the title. Klemmer's best original has him doing lilting yet melancholy solos on "Lifesong," co-written and sung by Danny O'Keefe. The two also collaborate on the pensive "We Couldn't Start Over." While it wasn't a major seller, Magnificent Madness has some of Klemmer's best work and is one of his finest efforts.

Biography

Born: July 03, 1946 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An active composer and an innovator on the electrified saxophone (using echo effects quite effectively), John Klemmer was also a very strong Coltrane-inspired acoustic tenor saxophonist. His solo saxophone recordings preceded smooth jazz and new age and his variety of projects earned him a great deal of crossover appeal that includes his music sampled by hip-hop artists of the '90s. Over the course of his career, Klemmer collaborated with...
Full bio
Magnificent Madness, John Klemmer
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  • $6.72
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1980

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