Chicago jazzman John Temmerman’s got numbers on the brain, but music in the blood. While many part-time musicians divide their time between career and art, Temmerman carries his passion for jazz into work on Monday and weaves his knowledge of numbers in the night club air on Friday nights. As the saxophonist and leader of the John Temmerman Jazz Obsession Quartet, Temmerman successfully demonstrates the inadequacy of the term “moonlighting” – for this 52-year-old Chicagoan, music is a calling, not an occupation; when not in front of the quartet, Temmerman teaches out of his home and sings in a gospel choir.
As well, Temmerman spends time at home with his wife, Tina, in Skokie, Illinois. His wife has a form of muscular dystrophy, which requires Temmerman’s time and aid. “I needed him here more, because of my disability,” his wife said. “It was difficult.” As a result, Temmerman reduced his schedule to accommodate his family’s needs. “She knows I need to do it,” he said. “She understands that I work really hard to make everything work.”
Heeding the call of the great legends of jazz, Temmerman has assembled a matchless crew: master percussionist Rusty Jones, a go-anywhere, do-anything session drummer with forty years experience in the Chicago scene and an unstoppable left foot; critically-acclaimed guitarist Neil Alger, whose riffs simultaneously melt and sear; and Steven Hashimoto, a whisper-smooth and soulful bassist with a subtle touch. Together, these four have to be heard to be believed, grooving and soaring, effortlessly unified, from jazz to funk to blues to bop and back. Live, the band brings a unique power to the stage. As Temmerman describes, the live show “sends everybody home happy;” it is perhaps less a performance and more an expression of the musicians’ unadorned, unfettered love for jazz to their audience.
The Quartet’s debut album, The Power of Two, is Chicago jazz at its finest; soft as a smile but packing a punch, full of life and diverse as the neighborhoods, bold as love and cool as a Windy City breeze.
Discography 1995: Jazz Obsession Music by the John Temmerman Trio (with Mike Allemana, Guitar and Matt Ferguson, Bass). This has limited availability directly from John.
2001: The Power of Two by John Temmerman’s Jazz Obsession Quartet(with Neal Alger, Guitar, Steven Hashimoto, Bass and Rusty Jones, Ddrums) CD available from CDBaby.com and John; electronic downloads available from most major online services.
2007: Unreleased live recording by the John Temmerman Quartet (with Neal Alger, Guitar, Steven Hashimoto, Bass and Rusty Jones, Drums) with special guest Steve Thomas on Trumpet . Contact John for details, or go to eir website at http://www.jazzobsession.com