Although he rarely showed up that high in jazz polls, Joe Temperley was one of the top baritone saxophonists of the 1990s. He has often taken Harry Carney's role when he performs with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra during their Duke Ellington re-creations, but Temperley normally has a lighter sound that is slightly reminiscent of Lars Gullin and Gerry Mulligan. His fluidity on the heavy horn is quite impressive, and he improvises in a style open to both swing and bop. On his 1998 Hep CD, Temperley not only plays baritone but does a fine job on both soprano sax and bass clarinet. Assisted on the London sessions by pianist John Pearce and/or guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Dave Green and drummer Martin Drew, Temperley alternates standards (such as "Three Little Words," a tender "Skylark" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Ow") with lesser-known material (including his own "Riverside Drive," "Skye Boat Song" and Mulligan's "I Hear the Shadows Dancing"). Throughout, Temperley plays quite beautifully, coming up with consistently creative ideas within the straight-ahead tradition. This is one of his finest recordings to date.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow