Its nearly twenty years that I have owned and played Temby instruments. I started with one of the first silver plated Temby Custom Alto Saxes back in 1998. Then when the Vintage models came out, I ended up on a Temby Vintage Tenor Sax in 2002 and shortly thereafter swapped to a Temby Vintage Alto Sax as well. In addition to the saxes, I upgraded my flute when David released his Temby Artist Series Flutes and I’m the proud owner of one of his rare Temby Alto Flutes (with the specially gold-plated curved headjoint).
I still have these four instruments and can attest to the fact that they all continue to serve me well. They have appeared on albums such as Gotye’s “Making Mirrors”, Kutcha Edwards’ “Blak and Blu” and Jeff Raglus’ “Bellatrix” as well as sharing the stage with international artists including Peter Brotzmann (European grandfather of free jazz), Ernest Ranglin (one of Jamaican ska’s originators), Nigel Kennedy (one of classical music’s biggest names) and numerous Australian musicians. The instruments have functioned well, but they have also inspired me – in particular, my jazz trio Origami was formed I was enjoying playing my alto so much, and now there are four albums released as a result.
They’ve been in the wars over that time: despite my reputation in the shop, I do care for my horns, but due to the heavy use they get, accidents are bound to happen – baggage handlers, open cases, falling keyboards, more baggage handlers… after what seemed to be a spate of incidents, David actually engraved my tenor as the “Volvo” model! And sure enough, its still going strong.
I have had a number of students over the years and I have had no hesitation in recommending Temby instruments to them – comparing the enthusiasm, sound and results from those students with cheaper instruments, I have definitely observed greater success from those with a quality instrument like the Temby range. As one reaches an advanced level, it may be that a classic vintage Selmer or Conn might be what you’re after, or maybe the power of a modern Keilwerth or clarity of the Yamaha, but for me the Temby range offers similar options, with good quality at an affordable price.
And, I like that I know the man behind the design of the instruments. And that he respects my opinion enough to consult about improving design elements. Going into the shop, it is always with interest that David and the gang will greet me, curious to hear how their instruments are going out in the real world. The hardest thing for me is going in and seeing how much they have improved the quality and range of the Temby instruments, yet loving the character of the ones I already have! Here’s to playing Temby for many years to come!