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Easy to Remember

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Album Review

Veteran baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley (who doubles on soprano) is best known for stepping into the huge shoes of Harry Carney with the Mercer Ellington Orchestra and for playing with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Temperley's large tone is not overly heavy, and in fact he can play both rapid lines and in a more relaxed fashion with equal ease. On this set, his fourth CD as a leader for the Scottish Hep label, Temperley is heard in four different settings. Five songs (his "Torpedo" and four swing-era standards) have the saxophonist jamming with a British rhythm section (pianist John Pearce, bassist Andy Cleyndert, and drummer Steve Brown); he cooks on "That Old Feeling" and really stretches out on "East of the Sun." Five ballads feature Temperley's horns and the rhythm section joined by a string quartet and occasionally clarinetist/arranger Frank Griffith. Tony Coe and Temperley both play soprano saxes on "Just Friends" and "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" (blending together surprisingly well), while the leader takes the traditional Scottish folk melody "Hielan' Laddie" as a brief, unaccompanied baritone solo. Throughout, Joe Temperley improvises melodically and his tone is quite appealing and personal. An easily recommended set from one of the unsung greats of the baritone sax.


Born: 20 September 1929 in Fife, Scotland

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Baritonist Joe Temperley was the perfect musician to fill in for Harry Carney during re-creations of Duke Ellington's music, a role that often overshadowed his own fine voice. Temperley actually started on the alto and recorded on tenor with English bands led by Harry Parry (1949), Jack Parnell, Tony Crombie, and Tommy Whittle. He stuck to baritone during a long association with Humphrey Lyttelton's popular band (1958-1965). In 1965, Temperley moved to New York, working with a variety of big bands...
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Easy to Remember, Joe Temperley
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