Art FARMER – Modern Art 1958

Art FARMER – Modern Art 1958
1985 Reissue. LBJ-60052


Limited edition high definition premium 180gm vinyl LP repressing of this classic Jazz album. Originally issued on vinyl, the ongoing popularity of LP pressings and repressings has ensured the longevity of this format for years to come.
This is top-of-the-line Art Farmer, one of his best albums ever. Recorded in 1958 for United Artists, everything clicks to perfection: the tune selection is an excellent mix of exciting originals and standards, the tempos are varied, and the playing by the quintet is brilliant. Everyone seems juiced to play. Particularly impressive is tenor man Benny Golson whose Coltrane hat is very much in evidence; the notes come pouring out of his horn on many of the tunes – especially noteworthy on THE TOUCH OF YOUR LIPS. He can be both powerful and pretty. Junior Mance’s JUBILATION is churchy for sure, but not fire and brimstone: it’s very mellow instead. Pianist Bill Evans plays well throughout, taking perhaps his best and most introspective solo on I LOVE YOU. Farmer is a delight, whether playing beautifully muted (LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE) or tempestuously afire (COLD BREEZE). This album will delight listeners no matter how many times it’s heard.
By Bomojaz.
This album,Modern Art, is the prelude recording for Art Farmer prior to his partnership in the famous Jazztet with Benny Golson and also foreshadows the classy, tasteful inventiveness that the group brought to the modern jazz world two years after this 1958 session. Pianist Bill Evans is in on this one just before his pivotal work with Miles Davis on the classic album Kind of Blue, and was the table setter for McCoy Tyner’s membership in the Jazztet. Brother Addison Farmer on bass and the great drummer Dave Bailey round out this sterling quintet that specializes in playing music with a subtle approach, but never tame or conservatively lazy. Included on this date is the great Junior Mance tune Jubilation, perfectly understated in a simple, blue-gospelsoul-jazz melody with both horns wonderfully matched in balanced unison. Farmer’s lone compositional contribution, Mox Nix, deserves similar accolades as it is an equally memorable, hopped-up shuffle with the uncharacteristically rumbling piano of Evans in soul-jazz to swing trim. Another notable track is Wade Legge’s Cold Breeze, which is hardly refrigerated, but instead a breezy hard bop vehicle, snappy, even-keeled, but not bubbling.

The trumpeter, after all, is the official leader and arranger taking the stage front and center for the ballad Darn That Dream and the mid-tempo take of The Touch of Your Lips with Golson in late, seconding the motions. For this time period you clearly hear a refined and maturing Farmer, qualities he would hold for the remainder of his career. He plops in the mute for Cole Porter’s I Love You, waxing poetic and effortlessly like a figure skater gliding through a simple routine and Evans even gets to jam out a bit. Benny Golson’s personal voice on tenor is also coming of age as you hear during his feature Like Someone in Love, but he’s also starting to emerge as a writer with the moderately swinging Fair Weather, displaying harmonic interplay that hints at things to come. The historical aspects of this recording in retrospect can not be trivialized, but more importantly, some darn good straight-ahead jazz is played here by experts in their field.
By Michael G. Nastos. AMG.
Bass- Addison Farmer
Drums- Dave Bailey
Piano- Bill Evans
Saxophone [Tenor]- Benny Golson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn- Art Farmer
A1. Mox Nix
A2. Fair Weather
A3. Darn That Dream
A4. The Touch of Your Lips
B1. Jubilation
B2. Like Someone in Love
B3. I Love You
B4. Cold Breeze

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