Original release date: June 11th, 1996
Re-release date: March 5th 2009
Availabilty: CD, MP3 download, iTunes
Before 1992, the small Arabesque Recordings label was devoted mainly to classical piano and chamber music. The launch of Arabesque Jazz in that year was based around the signing of Art Farmer and Charles MacPherson who went on to produce a string of great albums for the company. These have been available only fitfully in recent years. The re-release of much of this material is thus notable.
Art Farmer's "Silk Road" is a fine example of what is now being made available. Playing flumpet (a hybrid instrument between trumpet and flugelhorn) the veteran Art Farmer is joined by Geoffrey Keezer on piano whose arrangements are instinctively right for bringing out the resonance in the great jazzman's playing while offering plenty of scope for experimentation of his own. Ron Blake plays tenor sax and Don Braden plays alto, allowing the arrangements to take on a full and rounded sound. Kenny Davis (bass) and Carl Allen (drums) complete the sextet.
There is a great, satisfyingly traditional, take on the Mitchell Parish and Hoagy Carmichael composition "Stardust", a strong opener in Ray Bryant's "Tonk" and a novel arrangement of Duke Elllington's "I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart". But the real strength of the album is in the original compositions, one each by Art Farmer, Don Braden and Kenny Davis and two by Geoffrey Keezer.
This is involving jazz of the highest order and it is a great pleasure to see that this has the chance of reaching a wider audience once more.
To preview and purchase "Silk Road" on CD at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Silk Road" on MP3 at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Silk Road" at iTunes store:
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