Art Farmer

A Sleeping Bee

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This Sonet LP finds Art Farmer with an atypical supporting group that includes fellow veteran Red Mitchell on bass, Latin percussionist SabĂș MartĂ­nez, and several Europeans, among them guitarist Jan Schaffer and pianist Goran Strandberg. The opener, an easygoing take of "It Might As Well Be Spring," finds Farmer finally opening up in the closing chorus. Farmer's rich-toned flugelhorn interacts beautifully with Mitchell's imaginative bassline in the swinging take of "Come Rain or Come Shine," while the brisk bossa nova "Green Witch" is one of the more challenging charts on the date, with Farmer switching to trumpet. "A Sleeping Bee" is often played at fast tempos, but the hip-swaying, relaxed arrangement better showcases lyrical solos by the leader and Mitchell. This excellent record is long overdue to be reissued on CD.

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