Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Although flugelhornist Art Farmer permanently moved to Europe in 1968, he has returned many times to the United States to play. For this live LP (recorded for East Wind and released domestically by the defunct Inner City label), Farmer joins up with tenor-saxophonist Clifford Jordan, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins for lengthy versions of Charlie Parker's blues "Barbados," "I Remember Clifford," "'Round Midnight" and "Will You Still Be Mine." The group had not rehearsed beforehand but rehearsals were not really needed for these hard bop veterans and even an uptempo version of the ballad "Will You Still Be Mine" comes off quite well.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. This exciting live set by Art Farmer is also culled from the same 1976 performances as the earlier album Live at Boomer's. Although the full quintet had not rehearsed prior to the engagement with Clifford Jordan (the rhythm section, consisting of Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins, had been working together with Farmer for over a year), the sparks fly as they stretch out on each of the four tracks present.
This is one of the better Art Farmer recordings of the 1980s, which is saying a great deal, for the flugelhornist is among the most consistent of all jazz musicians. The two ballads that open and close this set ("Blame It on My Youth" and "I'll Be Around") give Farmer an opportunity to display his warm and attractive sound (with fine support from pianist James Williams, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis), while the other five pieces (Benny Carter's "Summer Serenade" and more obscure material) add the great tenor saxophonist (and so-so soprano player) Clifford Jordan to the group. It's an enjoyable and very successful outing.
Largely overlooked during his formative years, Art Farmer's consistently inventive playing was more greatly appreciated as he continued to develop. Along with Clark Terry, Farmer helped to popularize the flügelhorn among brass players. His lyricism gave his bop-oriented style its own personality. Farmer studied piano, violin, and tuba before settling on trumpet.
Three of the five musicians on this quintet date (flügelhornist Art Farmer, altoist Frank Morgan, and pianist Lou Levy) had played on Central Avenue in Los Angeles of the late '40s. Not all of the eight songs that they perform with bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath are from the era ("Blue Minor" and "Cool Struttin'" were written by Sonny Clark several years later), but the outing is very much in the bop style of the period. Their live set is highlighted by spirited versions of "Star Eyes," "Farmer's Market," "I Remember You," and "Donna Lee." This CD is filled with high-quality bebop that is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans.
Modern Art is the prelude recording for Art Farmer prior to his partnership with Benny Golson in the Jazztet, and also foreshadows the classy, tasteful inventiveness that group brought to the modern jazz world two years after this 1958 session. Pianist Bill Evans is in here, just before his pivotal work with Miles Davis on the classic album Kind of Blue, and was the table setter for McCoy Tyner's membership in the Jazztet. Brother Addison Farmer on bass and the great drummer Dave Bailey round out this sterling quintet that specializes in playing music with a subtle approach, which is neither tame nor conservatively lazy. Included on this date is the great Junior Mance tune "Jubilation," perfectly understated in a light gospel, soul-jazz, tuneful melody with both horns wonderfully matched up in balanced unison, side by side.
This Art Farmer studio session from 1971 has a slight contemporary flavor to it, due to the addition of conga player James "Mtume" Forman and percussionist Warren Smith, Jr. to a core group of collaborators including Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. Unfortunately, the additional percussionists are too prominent in the mix, greatly distracting from the driving arrangements of Farmer's "Homecoming" and Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa" as well as a peppy bossa nova, "Cascavelo." Far better are the quintet tracks, including the laid-back and mellow interpretation of Leonard Bernstein's ballad "Some Other Time," featuring the leader's matchless flügelhorn and Heath's soprano sax, and an upbeat chart of "Here's That Rainy Day." Another annoying problem is the seemingly out of tune piano, though Walton makes the best of a bad instrument. Not an essential album in the vast Farmer discography, but worth acquiring if found at a reasonable price, though it will be difficult.
This delightful LP features Art Farmer with a large orchestra not long after he switched from trumpet to flügelhorn. Oliver Nelson's arrangements provide great backdrops for the leader, as do the mix of dependable studio musicians and outstanding jazzmen assembled for the three sessions, including Tommy Flanagan, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, and Jim Hall, to name a few. The choice of material is inspiring: a snappy "Raincheck," and Farmer's moody "Rue Prevail," and a relatively (then) new work by John Coltrane, "Naima," which turns into a richly textured tour de force in the hands of Farmer & co.
Two of trumpeter Art Farmer's earlier sessions as a leader are reissued on this CD in the OJC series. Farmer teams up with an all-star quintet (which includes tenor-saxophonist Sonny Rollins, pianist Horace Silver, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke) for four songs and dominates a quartet (with pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Herbie Lovelle) on six other tunes. Farmer's sound is lyrical even on the uptempo pieces and he is heard throughout in his early prime. Highlights include "Soft Shoe," "I'll Take Romance," "Autumn Nocturne" and an uptempo "Gone with the Wind." One should note that the programming differs from what is listed, with "Soft Shoe" (which should have been the opener) actually appearing fifth and the songs listed as appearing second through fifth moving up to first through fourth. Despite that flaw, the music is quite enjoyable and a must for 1950s bop collectors.