Temple Underground
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Temple Underground

Band Jazz Funk

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MUSIC

BLAZE ILLUMINATES ONE DIRECTION OF JAZZ

The fusion quintet Blaze is one future of jazz. Not them personally, of course, though they're quite good at their jobs, but bands like them. Blaze, who held it down at the Elephant Room on Friday for hours on end, play funky and tight, with a DJ (or, if you will, a turntablist) filling in tonal colors, adding polyphony and polyrhythms.

Is this the only future for jazz? Of course not, but it's been one of the most successful, bridging the gap between traditional jazz heads and the wildly popular jam band scene. (See also acts such as Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and DJ Logic; speaking of, if Karl can get into the Austin City Limits Music Festival, how about Blaze?)

Co-led by 34-year-old Brannen Temple, one of Austin's hardest working jazz drummers — he also teaches at the University of Texas as a "drum specialist" — and trumpet player Ephraim Owens, the band ran though an expert array of gestures and textures ranging from crisp, hard post-bop to most abstruse rhythmic constructions. Electric bassist Yoggie provided an unshakeable low end, letting DJ NickNack — a mover in Austin's hip-hop community in his own right — and Temple feed off each other. Blaze jumps and sways when NickNack is high in the mix, whether providing textural scratches, melodic elements or bits of yammering. Owens' trumpet alternated between thick, meaty lines and subtler muted passages that blended well with Phillipe Vieux's sax (and occasional flute) lines. It's not the only future for jazz, but it's a bright one.
— Joe Gross
- XLent - Austin American Statesman


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Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Just when you thought Texas was all cowboys...
Jazz and Funk smacked you furiously in your ear!!!
Sounds...Traditional and not so traditional coming to you with fire and spirit.

Let us make the introductions:
Leading the Austin, TX based trio is drummer Brannen Temple (Chaka Khan, Robben Ford, Janet Jackson, Stephen Bruton, Eric Johnson, Leni Stern, Lizz Wright, etc...). Temple states, "I feel it's important to embrace a lot of styles of music. If you sincerely connect with those (styles) and can meld them into your own voice, your end result will hopefully be one that can reach (deeply) within and hopefully touch those open to your expression."
Temple's dynamic and melodically precise drumming fits "in the pocket" with beats, beats and mo' beats to start out the sound palette of Temple Underground.

Next is D-Madness. Highly adventurous, D funks and shifts multi-directional and poly-rhythmic bass lines like there's no tomorrow. His talents have been recognized by Erykah Baduh, Vernon Reid and many others as provocative, soulful and gritty. But you may also see him grab the mic and sing, beat-box / scratch and add other riveting effects for a more exciting sound scape.

And the secret weapon..hailing from Trinidad, there's Foster. Continuing the tradition of the steel pan sound of the beloved Caribbean Islands he also infuses a jazz harmonic approach usually unassociated with this instrument. Plus with his blazing chops and modern sensibilities there's no telling what you will hear...classical, pop, t.v. commercials, etc... It's all fair game.
Foster's compositions have been featured and performed by various universities in the states as he is also a clinician.

Together, these musicians create a groove that's exciting and fresh.

The group's leader, Brannen Temple has received many hometown accolades and has won local music polls: Austin Chronicle Readers Poll 'Jazz Band of the Year' in 2001 through 2008.

Temple Underground has performed mostly in the southern region of the US and has played some dates in the Basque country of Spain.