Recent listening, current

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

103. Art Farmer / Meet the Jazztet (1960)

I love this album. Art Farmer's Jazztet was a lot like the Jazz Messengers. Their music had a different flavor than the Messengers but each group was stacked with the fine and innovative musicians and each played the picture of hard bop. Benny Golson does the arrangements and the band plays two of his tunes: "I Remember Clifford," the beautiful tribute for which words are woefully inadequate, and "Blues March," an attention-grabbing blues with a startling cadence and spunky arrangement. There are some obligatory standards ("It's Alright with Me," and swanky "It Ain't Necessarily So") during which the band displays its chops like fine silver. Golson and Farmer make ideal foils by themselves, Golson with superheated explosions of verbosity and Farmer with his carefully crafted and natural lyricism. But you can't forget or ignore the contributions of Curtis Fuller, either. He has some really hip parts, with big, brassy punctuation marks or deftly fingered runs that will make you think he's got a cornet. There's mucho variety, the arrangements keep it fresh, and Lex Humphries swings it hard. If you're getting into this type of music, Meet the Jazztet is essential listening.

No comments:

Post a Comment