Posts Tagged ‘Art Farmer’

5 – The Cover Art

25 November 2009

The P and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last month. In mid-October of 2004, we were married on a dock on San Francisco Bay in front of 150 friends and family. It was a perfect day except for one small detail – due to a paperwork error, our marriage wasn’t officially recognized by the state of California. Oops!

Staring down a busy holiday season, and not wanting to put off the visit to City Hall to “officially” re-state our vows, we made an appointment for the day before Thanksgiving. Although we recognize our true anniversary as mid-October, we’re lucky – we get two days to celebrate our wedding.

With special thanks to dear friend Lisa for officially tying our knot, here’s our 5th anniversary mix…

[here’s the front cover…]

[here’s the inside front cover…]

[here’s the back inside…]

[here’s the back cover…]

[and here’s the playlist…]

Jimmy Forrest _ I Love You
Kenny Dorham _ I Had The Craziest Dream
Lee Morgan _ This Is The Life
Art Farmer _ The Touch Of Your Lips
Blue Mitchell _ Sweet Pumpkin
Chet Baker _ Tenderly
Erik Truffaz _ Out Of A Dream
Booker Little _ If I Should Lose You
Cannonball Adderley _ Dancing In The Dark
Ben Webster _ You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
Art Pepper _ I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
Ike Quebec _ It’s All Right With Me
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers _ Moanin’
Louis Armstrong _ I Get a Kick Out of You

Weekend Playlist

3 August 2009

You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly.” ~ Hank Williams

Hank Williams | 40 Greatest Hits
Hank Williams | 40 Greatest Hits

Duke Ellington | Ellington At Newport
Duke Ellington | At Newport

J.J. Johnson | J.J. Inc.
The J.J. Johnson Sextet | J.J. Inc.

Donald Byrd | Long Green
Donald Byrd | Long Green: The Savoy Sessions

Arnett Cobb | Smooth Sailing
Arnett Cobb | Smooth Sailing

Lee 'Scratch Perry | Chicken Scratch
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry | Chicken Scratch

Eugene McDaniels | Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse
Eugene McDaniels | Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse

Moby Grape | The Place And The Time
Moby Grape | The Place And The Time

John Mayall | Blues From Laurel Canyon
John Mayall | Blues From Laurel Canyon

The Modern Lovers | The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers | The Modern Lovers

Black Uhuru | Black Sounds Of Freedom
Black Uhuru | Black Sounds Of Freedom

Freddie King | Texas Cannonball
Freddie King | Texas Cannonball

Bonniwell Music Machine | Ignition
Bonniwell Music Machine | Ignition

Gilles Peterson @ Dingwalls
Gilles Peterson & Patrick Force | Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls
[Album cover not pictured]

Lyrics Born | Everywhere At Once
Lyrics Born | Everywhere At Once

Fania All Stars | Live At Yankee Stadium, Vol. 1
Fania All-Stars | Live At Yankee Stadium, Vol. 1

The Art Farmer Quintet | Blame It On My Youth
The Art Farmer Quintet | Blame It On My Youth

Miles Davis | Nefertiti
Miles Davis | Nefertiti

Dave Alvin | Public Domain: Songs From The Wild Land
Dave Alvin | Public Domain

Bo Diddley | The Chess Box
Bo Diddley | The Chess Box

De La Soul | 3 Feet High And Rising
De La Soul | 3 Feet High And Rising

Kris Kristofferson | The Silver Tongued Devil And I
Kris Kristofferson | The Silver Tongued Devil And I

The Meters | Look-Ka Py Py
The Meters | Look-Ka Py Py

Iron & Wine | The Shepherd's Dog
Iron & Wine | The Shepherd’s Dog

A Dozen Trumpet Masters

10 August 2008

Louis Armstrong | (1901 – 1971)

Why is he a master? | So many reasons: he was a great singer, an ebullient personality, and a wonderful musical ambassador. Armstrong was also the first virtuoso of the trumpet, and his talent was large enough to move it from a supporting role to a front-and-center, improvisational solo instrument. Without his influence, this list might have been A Dozen Clarinet Masters.

Recommended Album | His Hot Fives & Sevens, in any form, represents the birth of modern jazz.

Listen | Gut Bucket Blues

Bix Beiderbecke | (1903 – 1931)

Why is he a master? | Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke lived fast, died young, and played a beautiful trumpet. Along with Armstrong, he helped popularize the instrument, and ably demonstrated what a well-played improvisational solo could sound like. Beiderbecke drank himself to death on Prohibition rotgut at age 28, but existing recordings show him to be every bit as exciting a soloist as Louis Armstrong.

Recommended Album | Whatever you can get your hands on.

Listen | Singin The Blues

Dizzy Gillespie | (1917 – 1993)

Why is he a master? | The name says it all. Dizzy played with not only blinding speed, but breathtaking clarity that brought to life each note of his musical avalanches. The super-charged style of soloing he brought forth with Charlie Parker was so explosive that a new term (“bebop”) was coined to describe it. He was also a jazz statesman and teacher who always seemed to wear a 100-watt smile.

Recommended Album | Dizzy Gillespie & Roy Eldridge, but most of his catologue is solid.

Listen | Night And Day [from the album Groovin’ High]

Clifford Brown | (1930 – 1956)

Why is he a master? | Before he died in a car accident at age 25, ‘Brownie’ made a number of fine bop albums with drummer Max Roach. His death is one of the great tragedies in the history of the genre, because – unlike most of his contemporaries – Brown didn’t drink booze or use drugs. He had a bright future ahead, and even though he didn’t fully realize his potential, Clifford Brown was primary inspiration to a generation of trumpet players.

Recommended Album | Clifford Brown & Max Roach, Vol 1 – or just about anything else the pair made together.

Listen | Finders Keepers [from the album Jazz Immortal]

Miles Davis | (1926 – 1991)

Why is he a master? | Why is the sky blue? Some things just are what they are, and Miles is the trumpet master. He made three significant contributions to the evolution of jazz – the ‘cool’ style of the late 40’s/early 50’s, Kind Of Blue in 1959, and the jazz fusion bombs of Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way. Sure, he was was crabby and mean-spirited, but he also had a dark, magnetic energy that remains impossible to turn away from.

Recommended Album | Kind Of Blue, Bitches Brew, Birth Of The Cool, and any other of his albums that regularly garner 5-star reviews.

Listen | So What

Chet Baker | (1929 – 1988)

Why is he a master? | He had an impossibly warm and lyrical tone that gave his ballads a magical quality. Like Art Pepper, he was able to make subtle, beautiful music in spite of the drug-fueled chaos that ran rampant throughout his life. Everything he recorded after 1970 is atrocious, but when Chet Baker had it, he really had it.

Recommended Album | The Route (with Art Pepper) and The Best Of Chet Baker Plays, as well as anything he recorded with Gerry Mulligan.

Listen | Stella By Starlight

Doc Cheatham | (1905 – 1997)

Why is he a master? | Cheatham played the trumpet brilliantly into his 90’s, which is the musical equivalent of playing quarterback in the NFL until age 50 – it just doesn’t happen. His career is bookended by two extraordinary albums, Shorty & Doc with Shorty Baker, and Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton, but the stuff in between isn’t too bad either.

Recommended Album | Shorty & Doc

Listen | Good Queen Bess

Art Farmer | (1928 – 1999)

Why is he a master? | Vastly underrated during the 50’s and 60’s, Farmer cut a number of fine albums for a who’s who of jazz labels that includes Atlantic, Prestige, Columbia, United Artists, and CTI. Farmer is also one of the very few jazz artists to make consistently good albums through the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

Recommended Album | Modern Art, and everything else he recorded with Benny Golson.

Listen | Darn That Dream

Freddie Hubbard | (1938 – )

Why is he a master? | Hubbard recorded classic sides with jazz legends such as John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Oliver Nelson, and J.J. Johnson. And while he played sideman on some of the finest jazz albums of all-time, his own Blue Note albums Open Sesame, Goin’ Up, Hub-Tones, and Breaking Point deserved to be recognized as well.

Recommended Album | Hub-Tones, by a nose – and possibly because it’s one of the coolest album covers of all-time.

Listen | You’re My Everything

Lee Morgan | (1938 – 1972)

Why is he a master? | He made a string of brilliant albums for Blue Note in the late 50’s and throughout the 60’s, but The Sidewinder (1963), The Rumproller (1965) and Cornbread (1965) deserve special mention, as they’re some of the funkiest non-fusion jazz albums in existence – each a musical treasure. Morgan was murdered by his common-law wife in 1972 at age 33.

Recommended Album | The Sidewinder

Listen | The Sidewinder

Wynton Marsalis | (1961 – )

Why is he a master? | He almost single-handedly kept jazz alive during the 1980’s, and he’s been an enthusiastic spokesperson for the genre ever since. Marsalis broke in with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the late-70’s, and his immense talent was apparent right from the start of his career. His role as one of the principles in Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary was just the latest example of his star power, and – oh yeah – he makes some pretty good albums too.

Recommended Album | Marsalis Standard Time, Vol 1

Listen | Caravan

Erik Truffaz | (1960 – )

Why is he a master? | Deeply influenced by Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue, Truffaz isn’t afraid to take his trumpet into new and dangerous territory, playing in a wide variety of styles that bring jazz into the 21st century. That said, his lyrical, introspective, Miles-inspired albums remain his best efforts.

Recommended Album | Out Of A Dream, which is Kind Of Blue‘s genetic offspring.

Listen | Down Town


And a half-dozen more…

Fats Navarro
Roy Eldridge
Blue Mitchell
Maynard Ferguson
Harry “Sweets” Edison
Clark Terry
Sidney Bechet (thanks to David Foran for pointing out that Bechet actually played clarinet – d’oh!)


[Unless otherwise noted, the MP3 selections here were taken from the artists’ recommended album]

Masterpiece: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 2

4 January 2008

[Today: Taking shelter from the storm…]

The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 2

The Bay Area is currently being battered by relentless rainfall and hurricane force winds. It’s pretty cold, wet and miserable outside, which makes being inside and warm just that much better. The P and I spent our evening running around doing errands in preparation for a weekend shuttered in. After the last bag of groceries had been hauled inside, we lit a fire and sat down to some reading, enjoying the clown-like antics of our two 6-month old kittens, Oscar and Willie. We’ve got a big stack of jazz records that are just begging to be listened to, and what better possible evening to take on such a project?

Sonny Clark set a pretty nice mood for a while, via Sonny’s Crib (thanks Dusty Groove/Chicago), and then Donald Byrd weighed in with Long Green – one of the great trumpet albums – the cat just blows. Then we heard from the Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker quorum – and a fine pair they are. Mulligan/Baker was my “morning album” that I listened to every day for about 2 years straight (I could usually get through three sides of vinyl before scurrying off to work). Art Farmer held court for awhile with his excelllent collection Farmer’s Market. And then Jay Jay Johnson took the needle of our record player and made it swing. The guy plays slide trombone, but makes it sound like a muted trumpet – good good good.

Where our house sits, it sometimes feels like the winds are forming a giant cartoon fist and pummeling our sides, rattling windows, as well as people and animals. But tonight we’re all pretty cozy and content. The way 2007 flew past, the days kind of start blurring together and few stand out. So thanks for humoring me while I take a few hundred words to etch down one day and keep it for myself.

Listen: Pennies From Heaven (Alternate Take)