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Live At the Floating Jazz Festival

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Album Review

The impetus for this cool and swinging traditional jazz sextet date came from a conversation the producer had with the late Gerry Mulligan, who had always wanted to record an album featuring his baritone sax and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell. Mulligan also never got around to recording with clarinetist Kenny Davern, but the idea to blend the clarinet with the baritone stayed alive when it came to organizing the 18th Annual Floating Jazz Festival about QE2. Most of the the members of the band organized around them had some history with Chiaroscuro Jazz, and so the shipboard performance translates to this sweetly realized recording. "Bernie's Tune" gets things off to a jumpy start, with the two primary instruments blending their low tones perfectly before pianist John Bunch takes off for a solo adventure. Joe Temperley's baritone solo is another highlight. In fact, despite the billing, the arrangements here are very democratic. The lengthy "Mood Indigo" allows them to show the mournful abilities of their combined tones, but the ambience doesn't stay down for long. This amounts to a handful of older, gracefully aged jazz gentlemen showing that having fun isn't just something the kids can do.


Born: September 20, 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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