Lee Hazlewood

Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and Me...

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Some may be disappointed that Lee Hazlewood's first album in over 25 years is a collection of standards, but given time, Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and me... will work its considerable charms. Essentially an outgrowth of Al Casey's Sidewinder project, which featured Hazlewood's vocals on a pair of tracks, Farmisht is a laid-back, jazzy affair, with Hazlewood contributing surprisingly supple and inventive readings of such standards as "Honeysuckle Rose," "It Had to Be You," "She's Funny That Way," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and "Am I Blue." The album is as much Casey's as it is Hazlewood's, since his small group strikes a wonderful balance of jazz, pop, and country; it's loose but never sloppy, sophisticated but never pretentious. Thanks to Casey's fleet leadership and Hazlewood's rich vocals -- which weathered far better than anyone could have predicted -- Farmisht is one of the few standards albums that actually works, since it is faithful to the songs while creating an identity of its own. It's a modest achievement, but it's not a bad way to return to recording at all.

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