Joe Farnsworth

It's Prime Time

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Drummer Joe Farnsworth has been the drummer of choice for many New York recording sessions over a dozen-year stretch prior to this CD, which is his recording debut as a leader. Having studied with two great drummers, the late Art Taylor and the late Alan Dawson, Farnsworth keeps things moving as he works with a variety of quartets and quintets, with bassist Ron Carter joining him throughout the session. Pianist Harold Mabern contributed the hard bop opener, "Sweet Poppa," which also features tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, a frequent collaborator on recording dates with Farnsworth. Veteran trombonist Curtis Fuller, with David Hazeltine taking over the piano, is added for the loping standard "Old Folks." Trumpeter Jim Rotundi is on a trio of tracks, including the leader's one original of the date, the funky "Prime Time" (seemingly a throwback to the era of 1960s soul-jazz), as well as the brisk hard bop sextet arrangement of "Hello, Young Lovers," which also showcases Fuller and tenor saxophonist John Farnsworth (the leader's brother). Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson is on hand for a trio of his compositions, including the well-known "Stable Mates" and "Five Spot After Dark," along with the debut of a new Golson ballad, "And So, I Love Again." Since Joe Farnsworth was so used to playing with most of the musicians on the date, it seems like this was a CD that came together in one recording session without a fuss, though each track sounds as polished as if rehearsed by a regular working group.

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