Art Farmer this weekend; one of the legendary names I haven’t mentioned much in recent years, but always a welcome addition to the library whenever I run across a concert or club date I’m not familiar with.
This one comes from Yoshi’s Jazz House in Oakland and was recorded by KCSM-FM in April of 1990.
The get-together features Clifford Jordan on tenor and soprano sax, Randy Porter on piano, Bob Magnusson on bass and Jim Planke on drums. One of the key figures who gained prominence in the Bop genre, Farmer expanded his work to include experimental forms in Jazz. With colleague Benny Golson, Art Farmer formed The Jazztet in order to further develop new concepts, and by the 1960s had switched from trumpet to Flugelhorn.
In 1968 Art Farmer left the U.S. and settled in Europe, where he did most of his recording while continuing to tour internationally until the end of his life in 1999. During his career, Art Farmer had released over 50 albums and collaborated on countless others.
Farmer’s playing was described as noted for its individuality – most noticeably, its lyricism, warmth of tone and sensitivity.Farmer’s determination to keep exploring forms of expression continued throughout his life. One comment on a concert given when Farmer was 67 was that “his style was continuing to evolve”; he “delivered several solos in which his characteristically flowing lines were interrupted by sudden, wide melodic leaps and disjunct rhythmic accents”. A few months before his death, although faster numbers had become perhaps too challenging, The Guardian observed, Farmer’s playing on slower tunes achieved a new level of emotional expression.
If you aren’t familiar, by all means, grab a seat and relax and turn this one up. The sound is great, the club is warm and the music goes without saying.