Art Farmer - The Meaning Of Art

Arabesque Jazz

Recorded at Manhattan Beach Recording, New York on May 9th and 10th, 1995

Release Date: October 17th, 1995

Re-release date: March 5th 2009

Availabilty: CD, MP3 download

 The Meaning of Art

The Meaning of Art", the third of the Arabesque Jazz re-releases of Art Farmer's work for the label in the 90's, was originally issued in 1995, between "The Company I Keep" and "Silk Road". It is the same band as "The Company I Keep" except that Slide Hampton on trombone replaces Tom Harrell.

The personnel is: Art Farmer (trumpet), Ron Blake (soprano & tenor saxophones), Slide Hampton (trombone), Geoffrey Keezer (piano), Kenny Davis (bass), Carl Allen (drums).

Slide Hampton contributes two original compositions, "On The Plane" and "Lift Your Spirit High", both uptempo and mainstream, and these are good vehicles for the band despite some unfocussed bass soloing.

"One Day Forever" is a slow paced ballad composed by Benny Golson who was a long time collaborator of Art Farmer's in the "Jazztet", one of the best jazz groups of all time, and here Art Farmer's playing is at its most convincing as he draws out the beauty of theme in a long and involving solo.

Geoffrey Keezer's "Free Verse" is a ten minute medium tempo piece that leads to good solos by Art Farmer, Ron Blake on soprano sax, Slide Hampton and the composer himself.

"Home", by ex-collaborator Fritz Pauer, is Horace Silver-like, slinky, bluesy bop that produces one of the most successful tracks with fine solos from Art Farmer, Ron Blake, Slide Hampton and Geoffrey Keezer.

The two standards – "Just the Way You Look Tonight" (Jerome Kern /Dorothy Fields / Dorothy Sills) and "Johnny One Note" (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart) – are very much throw away and add little.

Though somewhat weaker than "The Company I Keep " and "Spice Road", principally because the horn harmonization is far less exact, "Meaning Of Art" is satisfying, subtle bop that is a part of the trio of albums that form a fitting climax to Art Farmer's long and distinguished career as a pioneer in jazz.

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Read our review of Art Farmer and Tom Harrell "The Company I Keep"

Read our review of Art Farmer "Silk Road"

Read our review of Ron Blake "Shayari"

Read our review of Joe Locke Geoffrey Keezer Group "Live In Seattle"

Art Farmer biography

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