Joe Temperley

Joe Temperley (September 20, 1929 – May 11, 2016) was a Scottish jazz saxophonist. He performed with various instruments, but was most associated with the baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, and bass clarinet.

Joe Temperley
Temperley (left) and Gary Smulyan in November 2005
Temperley (left) and Gary Smulyan in November 2005
Background information
Born(1929-09-20)20 September 1929
Cowdenbeath, Scotland, UK
Died11 May 2016(2016-05-11) (aged 86)
New York City
InstrumentsBaritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet
Years active1950s–2015
Associated actsThe Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra


Temperley was born in Cowdenbeath on 20 September 1927 and grew up in Lochgelly.[1] His father was a bus driver.[2]

Temperley first played cornet, aged 12,[1] then started on saxophone at the age of 14.[3] Six months later, he got his first job at the Glasgow-based Tommy Sampson's Orchestra, having previously played in local dance bands.[3] He joined Humphrey Lyttelton's London-based band in 1957 and stayed until 1965, when he moved to the US.[2] After six months, he was recruited by Woody Herman, with whom he toured for two years.[2]

He also performed or recorded Buddy Rich, Joe Henderson, Duke Pearson, the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Clark Terry among many others. In October 1974, he toured and recorded with the Duke Ellington Orchestra as a replacement for Harry Carney.[3]

During the 1980s, Temperley played in the Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies; and his film soundtrack credits included Cotton Club, Biloxi Blues, Brighton Beach Memoirs, When Harry Met Sally..., and Tune In Tomorrow, the latter composed by Wynton Marsalis.

He was a guest mentor of the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra programme in Scotland.[4] He was an original member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and served on the faculty of the Juilliard School for Jazz Studies.[5]

Temperley died in New York City on 11 May 2016, aged 86.[6]


As leaderEdit

As sidemanEdit

With Buck Clayton

  • The Great Buck Clayton (Polydor, 1964)
  • A Buck Clayton Jam Session (Chiaroscuro, 1974)
  • A Buck Clayton Jam Session Vol. IV (Chiaroscuro, 1977)
  • A Swingin' Dream (Stash, 1989)

With Eumir Deodato

  • Deodato 2 (CTI, 1973)
  • Whirlwinds (MCA, 1974)
  • In Concert (CTI, 1974)

With Duke Ellington Orchestra

  • Continuum (Fantasy, 1976)
  • Music Is My Mistress (Musicmasters, 1989)
  • Four Symphonic Works by Duke Ellington (Musical Heritage Society, 1989)
  • Thank You Uncle Edward (Renma, 2007)

With Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

  • Crescent City Christmas Card (Columbia, 1989)
  • Tune in Tomorrow (Columbia, 1990)
  • Portraits by Ellington (Columbia, 1992)
  • Big Train (Columbia/Sony, 1999)
  • Live in Swing City, Swingin' with Duke (Columbia, 1999)
  • Essentially Ellington 2000 (Warner, 2000)
  • Plays the Music of Duke Ellington (Brooks Brothers, 2004)
  • A Love Supreme (Palmetto, 2004)
  • Cast of Cats (Brooks Brothers, 2004)
  • Don't Be Afraid...the Music of Charles Mingus (Palmetto, 2005)
  • Vitoria Suite (EmArcy, 2010)
  • Portrait in Seven Shades (Jazz at Lincoln Center, 2010)
  • Live in Cuba (Blue Engine, 2016)

With Humphrey Lyttelton

  • Humph in Perspective (Parlophone, 1958)
  • Blues in the Night (Columbia, 1960)
  • Hump and Friends (Metronome, 1961)
  • Late Night Final (Columbia, 1963)
  • Humphrey Lyttelton and His Band (Society, 1965)
  • Duke Ellington Classics (Black Lion, 1971)
  • Humph Dedicates (Vocalion, 2005)

With others


  1. ^ a b Vacher, Peter (17 May 2016) "Joe Temperley Obituary". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b c "Joe Temperley, Jazz Saxophonist – Obituary". (17 May 2016) The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ a b c "Practice keeps jazz veteran in tune". BBC News - UK - Scotland. BBC. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. ^ FYJO - the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra Archived 6 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Haga, Evan (12 May 2016) "Saxophonist Joe Temperley Dies". JazzTimes.

External linksEdit