AN EVENING WITH JOE TEMPERLEY, ASSEMBLY@ PRINCES STREET GARDENS
It’s bad enough that a jazz event which was bound to appeal to many older jazz fans was scheduled for a venue situated at the foot of a very steep hill, but to expect said older jazz fans to go back up the hill in order to queue to get in to that venue is just ridiculous. But that’s exactly what happened on Monday. Mind you, coping with inhospitable venues (the draughty, air-con-gone-mad Hub, the over-stuffed Royal Overseas League, the Queen’s Hall with its bottom-numbing pews etc) is something of an occupational hazard for jazz fans.
Still, once everyone was in and sitting as comfortably as they could, the Evening With Joe Temperley proved to be a wee gem. Mind you, it got off to an inauspicious start as it fell to Mrs Temperley to get up and introduce her husband along with pianist Brian Kellock.
It was billed as an evening of anecdotes and memories, and although 81-year-old Temperley did a very entertaining job of telling his life story, it could have done with an interviewer to probe him further on certain intriguing points that he merely mentioned in passing.
Kellock managed to ask a couple of questions, notably one about Frank Sinatra, with whom the Fife-born saxophonist worked in the 1970s. “Was he a nice guy?” asked Kellock. “Well,” said Temperley, “the bass player who worked with him for 20 years was leaving and as he left he said to Sinatra ‘I’m off’. Sinatra replied: ‘I don’t talk to the help.’ “
Of the musical interludes, a sublime Creole Love Call – an unexpected audience request – proved to be THE highlight of the festival thus far.