Gavin Templeton is the kind of musician who’s singing sound transcends time and space, captures the imagination, and leaves his listeners spellbound. On his latest release, Some Spinning, Some At Rest, his trio captures the essence of what jazz is at its very best: a exploration of musical and improvisational communication, rooted in song, and flowing from the heart.
The music played on this stellar recording achieves an element of timelessness that is rare in music today. It feels completely current, and yet somehow sounds like it could have come from almost any time or place. It sounds like 3 friends, who happen to be virtuosos, playing together in a room, sharing a vibe. And that’s exactly what it is.
For this album, Templeton tapped long-time friends Richard Giddens on bass, and Gene Coye on drums, and the chemistry is apparent from the first note. Their friendship stems back to their days at the California Institute of the Arts, and has continued as members of a close-knit musical community with common roots. The trio recorded Some Spinning, Some at Rest directly upon completing a brief tour in December 2013, and the depth of communication between the three is incredibly captivating and natural. The music flows forth effortlessly, with a common language rooted in friendship and shared history.
The writing on Some Spinning, Some At Rest is distinctly tuneful. The melodies almost feel like classics, and yet are distinctly original. The openness in the group’s approach to performing, flowing freely between tune and improvisation, is infectious. To quote the liner notes by legendary guitarist, Nels Cline:
This trio really percolates rather than wails. I really enjoy the fact that with all the amazing invention evident, the band never really goes over the edge into mayhem - not that there's anything wrong with mayhem, of course! But Gavin scrupulously avoids wild gesticulations and overblowing, preferring to stay in the melodic zone, wrenching cogent variations out of what his compositions offer. The rhythm section really hits with a full head of steam, Coye's drum inventiveness and fire bursting at the seams - but they pull away from unbridled freakout. The effect of this is compelling and at times truly exhilarating.
I had the distinct pleasure to sit directly in front of this band as they recorded this record. They had decided to approach the recording process in as “live” a way as possible, setting up with minimal isolation and no headphones. Knowing that I would be mixing the project, I sat right front and center and positioned my ears where I imagined the focal point to be. The effect was simply transportive. I could have been in any jazz club or concert hall enjoying world-class musicians at play. The depth of expression never lost a sense of fun, while always staying directed and honest.
Gavin Templeton has been one of my favorite musicians for the better part of a decade, and I’ve been fortunate to play and work with him in so many contexts that I’ve simply lost count. And now, I am incredibly proud to be releasing this beautiful recording during the inaugural year of Orenda Records. It embodies everything I love about music, and is record that will stand out whenever, wherever one chooses to listen.
Again, to quote Nels:
Even though there is a whole lot to listen to here you could blaze some of these tracks at a pool party and only a few squares would whine. Who can resist such cool fire?
I, for one, cannot.
— Daniel Rosenboom, August 1, 2014
Purchase Some Spinning, Some at Rest here! Also, enjoy these archival photographs by Eron Rauch from the recording session: