Art Farmer – Art (1961)


Art is an album by trumpeter Art Farmer, featuring performances recorded in 1960 and originally released on the Argo label. Farmer stated in 1995 that the album, which consists mainly of ballads, was his favorite.

Farmer was co-founder and co-leader of the Jazztet, which had recorded two albums for Argo, including Big City Sounds on September 16, 19, and 20, 1960. Two of the members of that sextet – bassist Tommy Williams, and drummer Albert Heath – were retained by Farmer for his recording as leader, and pianist Tommy Flanagan was added, completing the quartet.

The album was recorded immediately after the Big City Sounds sessions – on September 21–23, 1960. The band did not rehearse the music before recording it. The music chosen had an “emphasis on less frequently played ballads.” “So Beats My Heart for You” features two solos by Williams. “Goodbye, Old Girl”, from the musical Damn Yankees, is played with a “mood of rueful farewell”. The Gershwins’ “Who Cares?” and Irving Berlin’s “The Best Thing for You (Would Be Me)” are up-tempo numbers. Benny Golson’s “Out of the Past” was intended to sound like a standard, and was first recorded in 1957. The playing on “Younger Than Springtime” is “impressionistic” and “reflective”. “I’m a Fool to Want You” was described by Nat Hentoff in the original liner notes as “the essence of jazz lyricism – intimacy without self-pity”. “That Ole Devil Called Love” has solos from Farmer and Williams.


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