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Jose Reyes

Very “Early Art” Farmer and the dawn of Hard Bop

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This 1954 Art Farmer recording is an excellent example of how and when Bebop began to transitioned into Hard Bop. It was about this time when the amazing new bebop sound created by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Bud Powell, Miles, Monk and several others, had begun to change in its presentation. Bebop had placed its followers in a different type of atmosphere and taken them off the dance floor. The “No Dancing Allowed” sign was prevalent in all the jazz clubs now and the focus had become solely on these talented musicians. This brought more pressure onto the concept of jazz and its ability to produce/compose significant new songs. This proved to be perfect timing as Hard Bop flourished as countless masterpieces were composed and “Modern Jazz” was born. “Early Art” is historical classic! Look at the lineup and how young these talented musicians were; both Art Farmer, his twin brother Addison Farmer (Bass) and Horace Silver were 26 years of age. Sonny Rollins was 24, Wynton Kelly 23 and drummer Herbie Lavelle was the oldest at 28.

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1996, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). 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.”…..Read More

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