Hans Teuber has been a mainstay on the Northwest jazz scene for over 25 years, working with Wayne Horvitz, Jeff Johnson, Clay Giberson, and others who lean toward progressive jazz. On his first album as a soloist, Teuber relied on his compositions as the framework for his work on alto and tenor saxophone, flute, and clarinet. His orchestrations are engaging pieces of work without becoming raucous or loud. They naturally tend to frame his considerable fluency and facility with the horns, especially the alto which he seems to favor, such as on "More Illusions" where his alto lays down the playing line while members of the rhythm section dart around like bees buzzing around a nest. In contrast, still on alto, "C Minor Waltz uses more abstract figures. "B.C." opens with Teuber's feathery flute giving impressions of a sylvan setting before seguing in somewhat of a controlled, creative free for all with one instrument playing against another. "Bom Pra Caramba" is the result of modern creative jazz ideas applied to a Latin beat. The tenor comes into play on "Old Fellow," giving the music a dreamy aura as Santi Debriano shows imagination on a lengthy bass solo. While the music on this CD is quite pretty, one wishes there were a bit more diversity. After a while, a certain sameness creeps in, which is always a risk when the musical agenda is prepared by the same person. One or two classics or jazz standards would have elevated this CD to a more interesting level. — Dave Nathan
Born In Minneapolis, Jeff Johnson ("Free" to some of his colleagues) left at age 20, spending time in Philadelphia and New York, and has worked with a veritable who's who of great jazz musicians such as Philly Joe Jones, Charlie Rouse, Barney Kessel, Chet Baker, Lew Tabackin, Eddie Daniels, Mark Murphy, Joanne Brackeen, Julian Priester, Jay Clayton, Marlena Shaw, Billy Hart, Annie Ross, George Cables, Bud Shank, Claudio Roditti, Ernestine Anderson, and Michael Wolfe, to name just a few.
Jeff met Jessica Williams in Seattle in 1991 and Hal Galper at the Port Townsend Festival in 1993, great pianists with whom he has had ongoing musical relationships. He is one of the most on-call working musicians in the competitive Seattle musical arena, and his contribution to jazz is substantial and continuing.
He now leads various small ensembles, composes, goes on the road frequently, and is involved in numerous projects and recording dates around the world.