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Album Review

One should ignore the frivolous cover photos (which show a bikini-clad "Miss Holland" posing with a bass and flexing her muscles) in evaluating this music. Actually, the performances are quite good on what would be Joe Farrell's next-to-last album as a leader. Accompanied by drummer Louis Hayes and a pair of fine Dutch musicians (pianist Rob Van Den Broeck and bassist Harry Emmery), Farrell (who alternates between tenor, soprano and flute) is in surprisingly strong form this late in his life. He stretches out on John Coltrane's "Miles' Mode," two standards (including an abstract version of "Three Little Words") and a pair of his originals. The music ranges from hard bop to post-bop, and throughout, Joe Farrell takes consistently inventive solos. Worth searching for.


Born: December 16, 1937 in Chicago Heights, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Joe Farrell's CTI albums of 1970-1976, which combined together his hard bop style with some pop and fusion elements, made him briefly popular among listeners not familiar with his earlier work. Farrell began playing clarinet when he was 11 and, after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1959, he moved to New York where he worked with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band (1960-1961) and Slide Hampton (1962), and recorded with Charles Mingus, Dizzy Reece, and a notable series with Jaki Byard (1965)....
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Vim 'N' Vigor, Joe Farrell
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