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Asterperious Special

Asterperious Special

September 18, 2012

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1
30
7:07
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2
30
8:24
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3
30
6:41
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4
30
6:32
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5
30
5:04
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6
30
2:20
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7
30
5:17
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8
30
Row
5:46
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9
30
5:02
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10
30
5:03
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Label: Nine Winds Records
  • Copyright: 2012 Gavin Templeton
  • Total Length: 57:16
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00B4N2DA2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Audio CD
featuring pretty good compositions by the altoist bandleader. Gavin Templeton proves to be a confident improviser, with versatile phrasing and lithe arc to his performance, while the supporting quartet could use more fire. Guitarist Larry Koonse delivers logical sequences of bop lines and pianist Gary Fukushima often plays with a certain restraint, exhibiting a laid back approach when anchoring the structure. The competent rhythm section is made up of double bassist Darek Oles and drummer Joe Labarbera: despite a heavy thump from the bass drum, together with the snare I find their overall tone rather bland, while the bass notes sometimes sound indistinct, especially when locking in with the bass drum but not in case of solos, intros or unison lines.
Standout tracks include the ascending, graceful elegy called #8 'row' having an introspective bass solo, brief piano elaboration with a gentle touch and a heartfelt, serene wandering emanating from Templeton's alto sax. The brainy, modernish #9 'whistler' is another good one with a piano-guitar dialogue followed by alto flight spaciously interlocking with a harmonic motif being played in circles. The title track #2 'asterperious special', which was the name of a B-24 bomber aboard which the bandleader's grandfather served as a navigator in the Pacific war theatre of WWII, may also fall in the same category with its alternation between menacing plod and flying swing.

This album also offers, among others, a moody bossa (#3 'misplaced optimism') followed by light, lyrical waltz (#4 'the divide'); a brief, wistful interlude (#6 'grace in concession') giving way to a dynamic, accessible fare with a strong backbeat on #7 'terminal', as well as a more traditional jazz-blues with a fine guitar solo and expansive alto exploration on the closer #10 'ya moosh!'. Total time: 57.22 min.
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