Reviews of the new CD
Scott Yanow, La Jazz Scene
Live In Evanston; John’s Mixed Bag
John Temmerman is a tenor and soprano-
saxophonist based in the Chicago area.
Temmerman has a raspy tone on tenor that is at
times a little reminiscent of latter-day Sonny
Rollins. John’s Mixed Bag, his third CD, features
his “Jazz Obsession Quartet” which also includes
guitarist Neal Alger, bassist Steven Hashimoto,
and either Rusty Jones or Steve Magnone on
drums. Trumpeter Steve Thomas has guest
appearances on “Sister Sadie” and “Blue Moon.”
The music is straightahead jazz, consisting of
four of the leader’s originals, the obscure
“Spooky,” “Norwegian Wood” and five jazz
standards. The performances are taken from the
group’s appearances at the 2007 and 2008
editions of Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts
which took place in Evanston, Ilinois. The
interplay between Temmerman and Alger is
always impressive, the rhythm section keeps the
momentum flowing, and close attention is paid to
varying tempos and moods. Among the highpoints
are “Sister Sadie” (which makes one wish that the
trumpeter was on more of the seletions), the
blues “Sooner Or Later,” “Stolen Moments” and a
heartfelt “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”
This fine set is available from www.
C. Michael Bailey, AllAboutJazz.comLive in Evanston: John's Mixed Bag
|By C. Michael Bailey|
Precious few artists are able to support themselves with music, much less jazz music. Even fewer are those who have a day job and are as exceptionally talented as Temmerman. The most attractive element in Temmerman's talent pool is his universality. His playing betrays the post-bop influences which can be heard in compositions such as "Plan B Downsized" and "Fundamental Dreamer." While Temmerman is respectful of John Coltrane, he is not controlled by that master. Instead, Temmerman claims Dexter Gordon as a major influence with definite elements of King Curtis, Junior Parker and the Texas Tenor tradition.
What does all that mean? Temmerman has a tremendous, catholic tone, one that easily competes with and occasionally overpowers his rhythm section. He bar walks with trumpeter Steve Thomas on Horace Silver's "Sister Sadie" and Eddie Harris' funky "Freedom Jazz Dance," making both performances juggernauts, insistently funky and propelled with groove. He also touches the nostalgia bone with a straight-ahead "Blue Moon," a potent "Norwegian Wood," and a splendidly languid "Stolen Moments."
Temmerman proves efficient and practical with his quartet rhythm section anchored with Neal Algher's fine guitar. More portable than the piano and more challenging as a rhythm section piece and solo voice, the guitar provides the perfect, delicate foil to Temmerman's enormous sound. Recordings like Live in Evanston are successful because of their simplicity and familiarity. These two characteristics make this recording very listenable and apt for repeat listens.
Temmerman Quartet at All About Jazz.
Visit The John Temmerman Quartet on the web.
Track listing: Plan B Downsized; Sister Sadie; Blue Moon; Spooky; An Aging Dream; Sooner of Later; Fundamental Dreamer; Norwegian Wood; Freedom Jazz Dance; Stolen Moments; Just a Closer Walk with Thee.
Personnel: John Temmerman: tenor and soprano saxophones; Neal Algher: guitar;
Steven Hashimoto: bass; Rusty Jones, Steve Magnone: drums; Steve Thomas:
Published: March 29, 2009