By Brian Tucker
Local hip hop and jazz band will play again March 29th at Satellite Bar & Lounge. Combining different styles of music, citing influences far wide from Jdilla to Wayne Shorter, they performed a month of shows late last year at The Calico Room. Aiming to remain true to boom bap hip hop while incorporating all forms of jazz, swing and improv to the group’s heavy grooves they have a new track on Bandcamp inspired by influential hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest.
Called “Excursions Pt. 2,” it features Hayden Williams laying rap vocals over a restrained backbeat by drummer Keith Butler, Jr. and Cameron Tinklenberg’s equally subtle but moody keyboard playing. The song has many faces, like the band’s many players.
An early break in the song features AJ Reynolds’ double duty on vocoder and saxophone accompanied by Aaron Lane’s flugelhorn. The effect is a bit spacey and citified that works as a curious but sultry interlude. The horns are brimming with warmth, and the vocals via the vocoder lend a strange playfulness. The last third of the song is wonderful, a smoky, intoxicating piece of music that leaves you spinning and revved up.
How much of the show is the band playing freely? Do songs allow for improvisation?
Reynolds: Temple5 allows for improvisation to happen in just about every song we play. For the EP release show most of our set will comprise of songs arranged for vocals and rapping, so the there isn’t much room for the band to freely jam. With that said, there will be moments where the band does “jam” but we like to think about this process as collective improvisation.
Did the band happen organically? Is it still the same amount of players?
Reynolds: The first thing that needs to be said is Temple5 did not just happen. We all consciously thought about each musician and what each person could bring to the group. The band originally started as a five piece group, but it was always our intent to incorporate other musicians, vocalists, and rappers. Now the band has a lineup of six musicians. Bringing a sixth person the group has enhanced the versatility of our musical roles.
What’s the focus of Temple5? Is mood and vibe more important than typical song construction?
Reynolds: The focus of Temple5’s music is the vibe, but we also don’t sacrifice song structure for the vibe. All of us in the band know the importance of structure for the listener, but more importantly we understand that vibe and structure is essential to the hip-hop genre. The EP aims to provide typical song structure for the listener, enabling rapping over the songs chosen for the record.
Temple5 seems like a band that can never stop growing, can always take on different styles.
Reynolds: We’re glad that you see us a band that can never quit! The band was founded as a means to push ourselves artistically. Currently our goal with growth is to dive deeper into the sounds and textures of hip-hop. (We want) to make music that has infectious grooves, thought provoking lyricism and uplifting content. Although we’ve chosen hip-hop as our playground, many of our members utilize influences of jazz, rock, R&B, and electronic music to make a creative statement within our community.
New album Strategic Arrival: The Statement will be available for streaming on Tuesday, April 1st 2014.