Fellow multi-reedsman Nelson Rangell could learn a valuable lesson from Bryan Savage, who takes the risk of switching off between flute and saxes on his Higher Octave debut Soul Temptation. Equally adept at being a classically influenced postmodern Tim Weisberg and edging robustly on alto and tenor towards the steamy Gato Barbieri sound, Savage offers a little spunky something for everyone: a rich, improvisational fireball of "Georgia on My Mind"; a disco-minded slappiness on "Party Line"; and a flashy Tower of Power-type vibe on the catchy "Kaleidoscope." Written by Rick Braun (who also adds Savage to his production resume here), that tune finds Savage like a kid in the proverbial music store carrying the slamming melody by tripling flute, alto, and tenor and wrapping that brew around Braun's punchy flügelhorn. Everyone wants the Braun horn sound on their recordings, and it's to Savage's credit that the trumpet only shows up on two cuts as harmony; Braun, however, does lay some slick grooves via his underappreciated skills as a keyboardist/programmer.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran