Art Farmer / Art Farmer Quartet

To Sweden with Love

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The premise of this Atlantic set is a bit unusual. The Art Farmer Quartet (consisting of flügelhornist Farmer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Pete LaRoca), which was together from 1962-1964 (after the demise of the Jazztet), was passing through Stockholm, Sweden at the time of this date and the musicians felt inspired to record a full album of traditional Swedish folk songs. Respect is paid to the often haunting melodies, and Farmer sounds quite at home in this context, sometimes hinting a bit at Chet Baker. Fortunately, not all of the tunes are taken at a ballad pace, and once the themes are fully stated, Farmer and Hall have plenty of harmonically sophisticated solos. The band's cool and restrained style suits the music perfectly, turning it into jazz without losing its essence. Although a brief set (at under 33 minutes), every note counts on this successful outing.

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