Gerry Mulligan & Art Farmer Quartet – Live In Rome 1959 (2008)

FrontCover1.jpgEuropean television did a better job at archiving live jazz than American stations during the 1950s and ’60s, as evidenced by the outpouring of DVDs of European broadcasts. The music from this 1959 appearance by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in Rome has been widely circulated on LP and CD in various forms, but seeing the black-and-white video footage to go along with the music will be incentive for Mulligan fans to seek out this edition. The video is generally well-preserved with relatively few flaws in the aged source material, and while the camera work is odd at times (such as focusing on the upper third of the leader’s body instead of showing his hands, or showing the musicians’ shadows on the screen instead of focusing on them), at least there isn’t the MTV-like rapid-fire flitting from one angle to the next every few seconds. Mulligan does get annoyed with the audio technician when he has difficulty with the microphone announcing the first song, though the problem is quickly corrected. The baritonist’s intricate counterpoint with trumpeter Art Farmer is magical, while the leader’s witty solos are also a highlight. Bassist Bill Crow and drummer Dave Bailey provide excellent support, while there are two audio-only tracks as a bonus. (by Ken Dryden)

Recorded on 19th July 1959 in the Teatro Adriano, Rome

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Personnel:
Dave Bailey (drums)
Bill Crow (bass)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Gerry Mulligan (saxophone, piano on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Announcement 1.12
02. Catch As Catch Can (Mulligan) 6.20
03. Walkin’ Shoes (Mulligan) 7.05
04. Baubles, Bangles And Beads (Wright/Forrest) 5.48
05. Just In Time (Green/Comden/Styne) 5.53
06. I Can’t Get Started (Gershwin/Duke) 8.04
07. News From Newport (Blackburn/Suessdorf) 8.39
08. Moonlight In Vermont (Blackburn/Suessdorf) 8.26
09. Spring Is Sprung (Mulligan)
10. Utter Chaos (Mulligan) 4.24

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Art Farmer & Quincy Jones – Last Night When We Were Young (1957)

LPFrontCover1Last Night When We Were Young is a studio album by trumpeter Art Farmer, with an orchestra of strings arranged and composed by Quincy Jones. It was recorded in two sessions in 1957.
The beauty of Art Farmer’s tone is well featured on this out of print ABC/Paramount album. Farmer is backed by a string orchestra arranged by Quincy Jones as he plays lyrical solos on eight standards and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Tangorine.” Farmer mostly sticks close to the melodies but he makes such tunes as “Two Sleepy People,” “Ill Wind,” and “When I Fall in Love” sound fresh and pretty. (by Scott Yanow)

This album be renamed “Art for Lovers”. It’s a change of pace from his bop orientated ’50s lps on prestige- and a welcomed one at that. I’m usually cautious of “horns and strings” albums but this one works because Quincy Jones keeps the arraingments tasteful without allowing the strings to become overwhelming. Art’s fans will not be disappointed because his trademark beautiful warm and fuzzy tone is on dislpay throughout the first nine tracks. Of lesser importance are the last four jazzy tracks recorded earlier in ’53 with some swedish allstars. (by John W.)

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Personnel:
Addison Farmer (bass)
Art Farmer (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Osie Johnson (drums)
Hank Jones (piano)

Arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones

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Tracklist:
01. Two Sleepy People (Carmichael/Loesser) 3.20
02. Someone To Watch Over Me (Gershwin) 3.34
03. I Concentrate On You (Porter) 2.51
04. I´ll Wind (Arlen/Koehler) 3.42
05. Last Night When We Were Young (Arlen/Harburg) 2.58
06. Out Of This World (Arlen/Mercer) 4.11
07. When I Fall in Love (Young/Heyman) 3.32
08. Tangerine (Schertzinger/Mercer) 2.46
09. What’s Good About Goodbye? (Arlen/Robin) 3.39
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10.  Pogo Stick (Jones) 6.17
11. Liza (Gershwin) 5.34
12. Jones Bones (Jones) 5.40
13. Sometimes I’m Happy (Caesar/Grey/Youmans) 5.52

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Art Farmer – To Sweden With Love (1964)

ArtFarmerToSwedenFCThe premise of this Atlantic set is a bit unusual.

The Art Farmer Quartet (consisting of flugelhornist Farmer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete LaRoca), which was together from 1962-64 (after the demise of the Jazztet), was passing through Stockholm, Sweden at the time of this date and the musicians felt inspired to record a full album of traditional Swedish folk songs. Respect is paid to the often haunting melodies and Farmer sounds quite at home in this context, sometimes hinting a bit at Chet Baker.

Fortunately, not all of the tunes are taken at a ballad pace, and once the themes are fully stated, Farmer and Hall have plenty of harmonically sophisticated solos. The band’s cool and restrained style suits the music perfectly, turning it into jazz without losing its essence. Although a brief set (at under 33 minutes), every note counts on this successful outing.
Personnel:
Art Farmer (fluegelhorn)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Pete LaRoca (drums)
Steve Swallow (bass)

Tracklist:
01. Va Da Du (Was It You) (Traditional) 5.24
02. De Salde Sina Hemman (They Sold Their Homestead) (Traditional) 6.13
03. Den Motstravige Brudgummen (The Reluctant Groom) (Traditional) 5.52
04. Och Hor Du Unga Dora (And Listen Young Dora) (Traditional) 5.51
05. Kristallen Den Fina (The Fine Crystal) (Traditional) 3.12
06. Visa Vid Midsommartid (Midsummer Song) (Traditional) 6.15

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