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Album Review

For his debut session, drummer Joe Farnsworth assembled a crew that mixes veterans Eddie Henderson and Cedar Walton with Farnsworth's regular running mates from the Criss Cross stables: tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and trombonist Steve Davis, along with bassist Nat Reeves. The mood is definitely Blue Note bop, and as such fits well within the Criss Cross catalog. By soliciting tunes from his sidemen, Farnsworth put together a strong program that elicits fully engaged playing from all the participants. Alexander especially digs in on his own "Joobie," a duet with Farnsworth, and one of two tracks here dedicated to the memory of Farnsworth's late brother, James, a bebop baritone saxophonist. With the set opening and closing with compositions dedicated to participants, the recording has a warm fraternal feeling. Musically, Farnsworth keeps the session moving with steady time, showing why he's so in demand by both veterans and his peers.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Drummer Joe Farnsworth has earned the admiration of both his contemporaries and jazz veterans for his sparkling cymbal work and effervescent sense of time. Farnsworth was one of five sons of trumpeter, band director, and Stan Kenton fan Roger Farnsworth. He and his brothers were all exposed to jazz and he began playing on his older brother, David's, drum set. He attended William Paterson College, studying with pianist Harold Mabern Jr. and drummer Arthur Taylor. His sensitive, hard bop-based style...
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Beautiful Friendship, Joe Farnsworth
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