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Cocktails for Two

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Album Review

Veteran baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley and tenorist Harry Allen share a live set at Sunnie Sutton's Rocky Mountain Jazz Party in the fall of 2006. They had previously played together two years earlier at the same event, so Sackville owner suggested a recording date the next time they appeared on the same bill. With Temperley choosing the songs, an outstanding rhythm section (pianist John Bunch, bassist Greg Cohen, and drummer Jake Hanna), the two reedmen complement one another very well in spite of their limited experience together. Many of the standards performed had fallen out of favor by the time of the show. Their sparkling take of "Cocktails for Two" proves this chestnut still has plenty of punch, while the driving interpretation of Oscar Pettiford's bop vehicle "Blues in the Closet" has Cohen reviving the nearly lost art of bass-slapping (à la Milt Hinton). Allen's solo feature is a lush treatment of the bittersweet "Everything Happens to Me," while Temperley offers a moving setting of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams." The elegant rendition of "My Romance" spotlights the rhythm section alone. Recommended.


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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Cocktails for Two, Joe Temperley
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