(Kalimbas Custom Made For John By)




JOHN KLEMMER began his exploration of "SOLO SAXOPHONE" many years ago & it has continued to evolve. After his movement into "electronic effects" one "effect" took priority; What can be called [now] "digital delays". It was a "sound" he had been  hearing in his head for years. John explains, "I used to try to play very, very fast to try to create a "chordal effect" in the listeners ears. I can,  with the proper manipulation & control of the 'delays" etc., play "chords", like a Piano or Guitar etc., rather than just one note at a time & it has a  hauntingly beautiful "sustaining quality" to the notes & it seems to have some "primal" psychological effect for people for many reasons I have come  to discover & understand. I can even "sing" with it. I call it my "private Grand Canyon" to take with me wherever I go. The minute I tried it I said  to myself "this is it" & I have had it as "my sound", Live & Recording with my bands, ever since & subsequently evolved as a SOLO SAXOPHONE CONCEPT in  itself. I stress the word "concept" as it is much, much more than just "saxophone", playing solo plus electronic effects. It is an attitude, an  approach, a vehicle & even a "philosophy" if you will. Of course if I choose to play just acoustically, I can, but there is no limit to other  electronic "effects" I can use. I have "sounds" etc. which none has heard yet especially now due to the advances in technology available to me".  Thus, the choice of the title; "SOLO ELECTROPHONIC SAX" [SAXOPHONE] became a more accurate title & description for this Concept & Endeavor. John continues; "The other beautiful thing about "This Concept" is that I can add & "feature" other Instruments & Artists to join me; Such as  Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Piano, Keyboard/Synthesizers, Vocalist & any other Instrument of choice, as well as, Dancers etc. & any other type  Performer or Multi-Media Artist or even "group". They can join me in "duets" & I can as also "feature them" as Individual "Soloists". I am truly  "free" to create, choose & do whatever I like  & also feel the audience will enjoy". He goes on;

"This, "Solo Electrophonic Sax" Concept, does not detract nor substitute for my primary Activity, Focus & Love of Performing with "My Band", but, is  an "alternate choice" of Performing Concept, dependent on personal choice & the "type" of Performance/Concert deemed appropriate for this Concept". 

'The History"

The seed of "Solo Sax" was planted in John's early years in Chicago. While  young & just moved away from home living in a small apartment, it was difficult, day or night, to find a comfortable place to play & practice for  the many hours John demanded & enjoyed. Around the corner from his apartment, John discovered a series of all night large "Laundromats" etc.,  often quite empty late at at night. John would play & practice there all night, sometimes to a small audience of patrons, homeless people &  Policemen etc., some of which became, "regulars". Sometimes John would invite a Bass Player or Drummer to join him. Of course this evolved over the early years in Chicago & when moving to Los Angeles. He was always on "the hunt" for new "places" to play & practice even if not needed anymore.  It became a  "habit & ritual". In these early years in Chicago John would often, leading his bands in  various "night clubs" etc., signal to his band to stop playing & John would "play solo" as long as he wished & felt appropriate. [There was very early  "tradition" of this in the "jazz idiom", called, "strolling". A player would yell out, "stroll", giving a signal to the rest of the band that; "he  wanted to play alone/solo" & for the rest of the band to stop playing.]

While on tours with his band, John would, in the middle of his show, to  give his band & audience as well a "rest", would announce the names of songs just played plus "small talk", and then would, without his band, do a  moderately long performance of "Solo Sax", only now, with his delay & electronic effects added, compared to the early years. The effect &  response on & of the audience was powerful & popular. "Ten thousand people & you could hear a pin drop", John describes. "People came up to me & wrote  me descriptions of very powerful & profound experience's they had. Actually, "it" is just me, John Klemmer, same sound, same notes etc.,  except, without "the band" & with more room to play & experiment musically & with the "electronics" etc. As time went by I had more fun with it & it  became a strong vehicle of emotional & musical expression. I found so much freedom as well as "peace" in it as I can literally go "anywhere" I want  with it. The "concept" of it is limitless as a "presentation" & a "concept" with endless ideas to try. I can add quest pianists, guitarists, singers &  harp players etc. etc. It actually, at times, can have a more powerful effect than a whole band. It's a constant never ending challenge musically  & I feel it has inherent positive quality's for people as "a concept". It is still evolving & always will."

The unparalleled popular response to John's first "SOLO SAXOPHONE", recording, "CRY" [now considered a "classic" by many] & his second, "LIFE",  incorporating Vocals etc., was the final validation for commitment to it. John began touring as "SOLO ELECTROPHONIC SAX" doing "special event  Concerts" etc. as well as selective "soundtracks" etc. "Needless to say I Love it", John continues; "I have, am & do, plan on  dedicating part of my life's work & career to it. I have no idea what it might evolve to & that is exciting & inspirational."

Some can call John's "SOLO ELECTROPHONIC SAX" Concept "New Age" or "Smooth jazz" or "Jazz" etc., but, ultimately, one can truly call it, other than  "unique" etc.; "John Klemmer".

"SOLO ELECTROPHONIC SAXOPHONE" Recordings & Concerts continue.