Alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton has become a pivotal force in the L.A. progressive jazz scene and it's easily discernible, given his strong improvisational faculties, resonating tone, and penchant for bridging conventional means into the outside schema of the jazz vernacular. On his second solo release for Nine Winds Records, he embeds rock riffs, variable tempos, and odd-metered unison choruses with guitarist Perry Smith and a host of mood-evoking thematic episodes via these multicolored pieces.
The artists conclude the album with a forceful and multifaceted, jazz-rock tinged arrangement on "Volley." They initiate a straight-four groove, keenly offset with tricky unison choruses by all parties, equating to a layered soundscape also featuring the soloists' brisk lines and unexpected shifts in strategy. But pianist Matt Politano softens it up during the bridge, followed by bassist Sam Minaie's nimble and articulately expressive solo. Essentially, they mirror notions of self-reflection yet retool amid Templeton's jazzy and soul-drenched lines spiced with a few bop choruses, leading to a zesty culmination. Nonetheless, each piece on this album proclaims a contrasting storyline. Among other positives, Templeton is a resourceful and artistically inclined composer, augmented by the quartet's sympathetic accompaniment and inspired soloing forays.
Personnel: Gavin Templeton: alto saxophone; Perry Smith: guitar; Matt Politano:
piano; Sam Minaie: bass; Matt Mayhall: drums.
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.