Allen Farnham

Fifth House

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Pianist Allen Farnham shows off many of his influences during this fine Concord CD. On John Coltrane's "Fifth House" (which oddly mixes together chord changes relating to both "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "Giant Steps"), Farnham sounds heavily influenced by McCoy Tyner. But on a Latin romp through "You Stepped Out Of A Dream," his hyper chordings remind one of Bobby Enriquez, he is closer to Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock on the obscure Duke Pearson ballad "You Know I Care" and is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett on the folkish "Colin." 30 at the time, Farnham also showed strong potential of developing an individual voice of his own. His four compositions are diverse and quite original (the dry "It's Not What You Think It Is," a somber yet hopeful "Despair," the rhythmic "Hadd-Bone" and "Colin") and he did a fine job of picking sidemen for his postbop session: tenorman Joe Lovano (who switches to soprano on "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs"), trumpeter Tom Harrell, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jamey Hadad. Recommended.

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