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Early Art

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Born: 21 August 1928 in Council Bluffs, IA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

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. He worked in Los Angeles from 1945 on, performing regularly on Central Avenue and spending time in the bands of Johnny Otis, Jay McShann,...
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