"Alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton boasts an assured yet adventurous voice, sometimes with nods to Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill."
–– Josef Woodard, Down Beat Magazine
"Templeton has captured another alluring vision of the ever-evolving sound of L.A."
–– Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"Alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton has become a pivotal force in the L.A
. progressive jazz scene"
–– Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
"Los Angeles alto saxophone phenomenon"
–– Robert Bush, San Diego Reader
'In Series' refers to a type of electrical daisy chain common in, among other things, Christmas lights, where the burning out of even one bulb ensures that the whole chain would cease to function. It could be an analogy for issues that challenged Templeton's world while living on the Westside of Los Angeles. Templeton reflects, "Santa Monica was the place where I spent a lot of time trying to figure out inroads into making it in the music scene in LA, and trying to figure out how to make money." He also became frustrated with the overt inequalities of the area. "The wealth and poverty of that area was crystal clear. You'd see a lot of expensive cars, driven by young people trying to look cool, driving past entire families digging through garbage cans."
Yet the issue that overshadows everything else concerned his girlfriend Karina, who at the time, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Their engagement and subsequent marriage were intertwined chronologically with her diagnosis and treatment, turning what would normally have been a joyous time into an intensely nerve-wracking one with great uncertainty, and simultaneous hope and fear for what the future held for them.
This is the context for the seven emotionally charged pieces presented in Templeton's new album. The titles hint at a larger connected narrative, with pensive anticipation, a common emotive thread through many of these pieces ("Inbox," "Know Why," "The Other Shoe"). The music portrays the tension with a searching, restless tone throughout, from the starkness of Templeton's straight and pure alto sound, to guitarist Perry Smith's exquisitely forlorn improvisations. Matt Mayhall provides a driving pulse with an array of rock-influenced beats. There are also lighter, brighter moments, as in the frenzied pace of the tune "Bug" (named after Templeton's cat) and the beautiful ballad "Karina." The result is a suite of well-executed tunes exploring manifold emotional states, delving into introspection and reflection.