The Cosmic Dust Fusion Band is something different. Some of it as close to classical as to jazz, a new sort of “fusion.” As you listen to the tunes, I hope your imagination creates images–musical landscapes–and that you find yourself later humming the melodies and themes. My inspiration has been Bartok, Debussy, and “Weather Report.”
“The Dust Also RIses…” This, the third CD by Cosmic (the second with Portland musicians), will be presented at our CD RELEASE event, described below. Many of the tunes should stimulate images/events in your mind, eg: NY Taxicab (the stress and hustle of the city), or “Train Ride,” (the rhythmic rumble of the tracks, or “Prairie Song,” with its expansive stretches. The evening will be filled with picturesque scenarios, potent rhythms, and flights of fancy in the soloists’ improvisations.
Here’s a recent review (Jan 3, 2018) by Scott Yannow, published in the LA Jazz Scene.
The Dust Also Rises
While fusion (the combination of the sound, volume and rhythms of rock with jazz improvisation) dominated the 1970s and then became overshadowed by other approaches during the next decade, it is still very much a part of the current jazz scene. The electronics have become more sophisticated as have the rhythms, and the best fusion groups always have a generous amount of inventive solos.
Jim Templeton, an excellent pianist and an important educator in the Pacific Northwest, founded Cosmic Dust in 1980. The current version of the fusion band consists of Templeton on keyboards, guitarist Mike Doolin, Gary Edighoffer on tenor, flute and other reeds, electric bassist Sam Hallam, and drummer Charles Neal. They perform ten originals with spirit and constant creativity.
The music is consistently unpredictable, even when it hits a relaxing groove as on “Circus.’ The melodies, chord changes and solos are quite original and at no time does Cosmic Dust sound closely based on any other fusion group. All of the musicians are strong soloists (Edighoffer is a standout on flute and tenor), the ensembles are tight yet loose and, even with its rockish moments, the jazz content is high. “Walkin’ On Out” (which sounds briefly like “Chameleon” in spots), “Blues #7” and the happily funky “Bones For Kitty” are among the highpoints of this colorful set.
Cosmic Dust is a fusion group well worth checking out. The Dust Also Rises is available from www.jimivories.net.
September 29, 2017 We’re On~~ Cosmic will play 9-11:30 at the new jazz spot in Portland: Jack Londons, on Wednesday, October 11. They’re located downstairs at 4th & Alder in Portland’s downtown. Tickets/etc at: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=7728095&pl=jacklondon&dispatch=loadSelectionData.
April 29, 2017 Here’s a really good article about Jim and his latest CD. Fusion-jazz band Cosmic Dust rises from the ashes with new album
April 11, 2017 Good news: We’ll be interviewed on Nick Gefroh’s show (KBOO) at 12 noon on Wednesday, May 3, and again on Lynn Darroch’s show (KMHD) Friday May 5, at 3:10. You’ll be able to hear some stuff from the album at those times, (and meet Mike Doolin, and Charles Neal on Wednesday’s show.)
April 10, 2017 Tickets now available.:
April 8, 2017 Ok, ok! CD Release at 7:30 on Friday, May 5th, at the Classic Pianos venue, 3003 SE Milwaukie, Portland. Tickets soon at Tickets Tomato, $15 advance, $17 at the door. Gary Harris has joined up on saxes and flute, and might play a few tones on the glockenspiel. Watch this spot for link to tickets, or call me and make reservations: 360-624-5151.
March 23, 2017 Now it’s “mastering” at Nettleingham Studios and I’m hustling to figger out graphics. Gettin’ closer. Shortly I’ll book a cd release concert for the new band on Portland’s scene.
January 12, 2017 THE MIXING. About Finished. Here’s one of my favorites: “Circus.”.
December 3, 2016 THE STUDIO: Finished. Now only the mixing. Gary Edighoffer (from the first Cosmic band) covered the saxes, flute, alto flute parts. (Tim decided it wasn’t for him…). So we’re on the look-out for someone to replace the sax/flute parts in time for our CD Release Gig–hopefully sometiime in February. ish
September 3, 2016 We bid a fond farewell to Pete Petersen, who was needed to withdraw due to his plethora of commitments to previous musical situations. And we bid a hip hello to Tim Jensen, another of my favorite saxmen. We’re going in the studio, to record the third Cosmic Dust cd, “The Dust Also Rises…” More in good time
June 25, 2016 We’re booked at ‘The Jazz Station’ in Eugene, Jazz Station
June 10, 2016 The day has come and gone. We’ll be releasing some takes from the concert down the road. 40+ people in the audience, and they were enthusiastic! We had fun. I promeised the link for downloading/streaming the two CD’s: Cosmic CD’s Download/Stream
May 21, 2016 PRESALE of tickets to the Memorial Day concert just give me call at 360-624-5151, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 4, 2016: The band has been underway since last June, and has now scheduled its debut performance. May 30, Memorial Day, 2-4pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4505 E 18th St. in Vancouver. (Tickets: $12, kids 12 and under free. Pre-sale: $10, contact me.) In addition to myself on keyboards, I’ll be joined by Mike Doolin on guitar, Pete Petersen on winds, Sam Hallam on bass, and Charles Neal on drums. The sanctuary, having no right angles, promises excellent acoustics. And a Steinway Grand…
You’ll hear a wide variety of styles, a melding of funk, rock, classical, and jazz; ergo, the style is “fusion.” In “Chase” you’ll hear a 3-voice ‘canon,’ straight out of the Baroque period. In “NY Taxi,” your ears will be stretched as you hear our version of busy NYC downtown: hectic, aggressive, and somewhat dissonant. “Train Ride” should give you the feel of the tracks rumbling rhythmically on the rails. Each tune has been hatched from some image, experience, or idea. Organized and melodic thematic sections alternate with solistic flights of creativity in improvisations by each member.
…. Watch this spot for updates, pics, and sound bites…
From our Debut May 30, at UUCV Church in Vancouver. We’re still ‘birthing,’ so: HIRE US! (Request us at your favorite spot.)
Cosmic Dust – First Edition
May 18, 1980, marked the eruption of Mt. St Helens in Washington State. In June. Jim Templeton, home on a six-week sojourn in Spokane from his residence in Denmark. met Gary Edighoffer while walking the halls of Spokane Fall Community College. That chance meeting led to the formation of perhaps the most eclectic and electrifying orchestra in the Northwest — The Cosmic Dust Fusion Band.
Journey is the first of five recordings made by this version of the group.
Jim Templeton – Keyboards
Gary Edighoffer – Winds
The following is Cosmic Dust’s first review with more history.
Spokane Daily Chronicle; By LONNA BALDWIN
Everyone’s talking about Cosmic Dust, the fusion brainchild of Jim Templeton, a resident of Denmark currently enjoying a summer hiatus in Spokane. The band, which made a good showing in its first concert last Sunday at Riverfront Park is extraordinary for several reasons.
Cosmic Dust – Second Edition
Having moved to Vancouver in November of 2005, I left behind “Cosmic Dust,” the band I formed (together with Gary Edighoffer) years ago in Spokane.
Years later, I decided to recreate the band in the Portland area. After several rehearsals we went into the “Magic Closet Studio.” It was an intense 8-hour day, segments of which you can hear below.
Jim Templeton – Keyboards & Composer
First off, after having been organized in a matter of a few weeks, the musicianship within the band is excellent — and they work well together. Secondly, their music, most of it Templeton’s own compositions, is all original material — and it is fresh and exciting.
Templeton may look the mild-mannered type but put him behind some keyboards and he turns into a pounding, frenetic ball of dynamite. And of course, Gary Edighoffer on saxes, flute and percussion, is one of the ‘best players around add to this combination the fine, fine guitar playing of Nick Herman, a solid bass man like Tom Latenser and a hot, bombastic drummer such as Eric Brown and you have a sound that will sell. Which is exactly what this group is doing.
At a time when established local groups are scrambling for gigs, this newcomer already has several top bookings. They wind up an engagement at Henny’s tomorrow, are scheduled for Washboard Willies Sunday and will appear at The Tin Ear Wednesday and Thursday next week. Obviously these guys are doing something right. Templeton has been putting bands together in Spokane every summer for three years now. Although he is a former Spokane resident of Spokane, having graduated from Lewis and Clark High School, he lives most of the year in Den-mark. The story of how he landed in Denmark in the first place reads like something out of True Romance.
“I was touring Europe on a bicycle,” he said, “when I was run down in Paris. I landed in the hospital for five days — and that’s where I met my wife. It sounds really romantic. She was the nurse at my bedside.”
Templeton and his wife have since divorced but he stays in Den-mark to be near his 9-year-old son. “I hope to move back to Spokane when my son is older,” he said. “That’s why I come here every summer and put groups together. It’s a way of keeping my foot in the door.”
Templeton’s home is about the size of Spokane, and right on a peninsula. “The thing that made the greatest impression on me, I’d say, was the short summers. They only last about three weeks. But during that time the sun never really goes down, it just dips below the horizon. At 11 o’clock, it will still be light.”
Templeton teaches jazz and classical courses at conservatories, universities and privately. He didn’t get into composing until he moved to Europe in 1974. He now has 30 to his credit. “I’d love to record but it’s hard to break into the circuit over there unless you live in Copenhagen. The only music that sells is the really commercial stuff — by rock and pop bands.”
Aside from the fine playing of Cosmic Dust, its strongest drawing point is Templeton’s compositions. His writing has depth and complexity and lends itself to many moods and sounds. He even manages to incorporate humor. “Walkin’,” a number the band performed Sunday is an example of this. It ends with a barrage of percussion,’ cowbells, a doorbell and a triangle.
Templeton describes his work as a salad as opposed to a cake. “It’s not a blend. In a salad, you can taste different things simultaneously. Various elements are clear cut from jazz, rock or classical music — and there is an intense beat.”
The emphasis on musical color comes from his classical background, Templeton said. “But my experience has been both jazz and classical. I try to make people laugh or cry — react strongly in some way. I’d rather offend them than leave them feeling neutral.”
There is nothing neutral about Templeton’s music. It is impressive and oh, so alive.
Here’s another article by Lonna from the Chronicle: