Some of the finer CTI recordings of the late '70s were those led by flugelhornist Art Farmer. Although the emphasis was generally on obscure material (in this case Farmer plays one original, two songs by Dave Grusin and one piece by pianist Fritz Pauer) and often featured musicians who did not normally play together, the results were generally quite rewarding. For this CTI LP (long out-of-print), the focus is almost entirely on Farmer who is joined by keyboardist Grusin, guitarist Eric Gale, flutist Jeremy Steig, either Will Lee or George Mraz on bass and drummer Steve Gadd. The moody music holds one's interest throughout.
Although the personnel listing mistakenly lists pianist Fritz Pauer as playing bass, this mellow release features his duets with flugelhornist Art Farmer. Pauer has been Farmer's regular pianist overseas since the flugelhornist moved to Europe in 1968. Together they perform three of Pauer's moody originals, an Austrian folk song and tunes by Al Cohn, Mal Waldron ("Soul Eyes"), Duke Ellington, Benny Golson and Tadd Dameron ("If You Could See Me Now") with the emphasis on ballads. A peaceful and mostly introspective release.
This [reissue] restores to circulation a strong Atlantic date from Art Farmer's immediate post-Jazztet period and features Farmer's quartet playing standards with swinging subtlety. Interaction, from 1963, is a vehicle for the intertwining improvisations of guitarist Jim Hall and Farmer, on flügelhorn, who weaves through and around Hall's sublimely understated lines with disarming ease, elegance, and sensitivity.
The Jazztet had been in existence for two years when they recorded what would be their final LPs, this date plus Another Git Together. The personnel (other than the two co-leaders flugelhornist Art Farmer and tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson) had completely changed since 1960 but the group sound was the same. The 1962 version of the Jazztet included trombonist Grachan Moncur III, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Roy McCurdy and it is remarkable to think that this talent-filled group could not find enough jobs in order to stay together…
Autophysiopsychic is probably the single album that many Yusef Lateef fans either love or hate the most. Along with guest soloist Art Farmer on flugelhorn, guitarist Eric Gale, keyboardist Cliff Carter, drummer Jim Madison and bassist Gary King (except for "Sister Mamie," which features Steve Gadd and Alex Blake respectively), "Teefski" romps through five fat slices of original funk that have far more in common with the sounds of Chocolate City than with the bop sounds of 52nd Street. Autophysiopsychic is awash in the soft soul-funk-jazz sound typical of Creed Taylor's (CTI) productions in the 1970s.
Three of the five musicians on this quintet date (flügelhornist Art Farmer, altoist Frank Morgan, and pianist Lou Levy) had played on Central Avenue in Los Angeles of the late '40s. Not all of the eight songs that they perform with bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath are from the era ("Blue Minor" and "Cool Struttin'" were written by Sonny Clark several years later), but the outing is very much in the bop style of the period. Their live set is highlighted by spirited versions of "Star Eyes," "Farmer's Market," "I Remember You," and "Donna Lee." This CD is filled with high-quality bebop that is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans.
This is one of the better Art Farmer recordings of the 1980s, which is saying a great deal, for the flugelhornist is among the most consistent of all jazz musicians. The two ballads that open and close this set ("Blame It on My Youth" and "I'll Be Around") give Farmer an opportunity to display his warm and attractive sound (with fine support from pianist James Williams, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis), while the other five pieces (Benny Carter's "Summer Serenade" and more obscure material) add the great tenor saxophonist (and so-so soprano player) Clifford Jordan to the group. It's an enjoyable and very successful outing.