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Silk Road

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Album Review

Art Farmer has long been one of the most consistent of all brassmen. Playing the flumpet (which is a cross between a trumpet and a flugelhorn), Farmer is heard throughout this 1996 set in top form. He utilizes two complementary young tenor saxophonists (Ron Blake and Don Braden), a skilled pianist-arranger (Geoff Keezer), bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Carl Allen. The repertoire consists of an original apiece by Farmer, Braden, and Davis, two by Keezer, Ray Bryant's memorable "Tonk," Duke Ellington's "I Let a Song Go out of My Heart," and a slightly altered rendition of "Stardust." While his sidemen play quite well, the warm-toned and swinging Farmer is consistently the main star, and at age 68 he proves to still be in his prime.


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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