Art Farmer: Goodbye, Old Girl


Goodbye, Old Girl


Art Farmer (trumpet)


Out of the Past (GRP 18092)

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Art Farmer (trumpet), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Tommy Williams (bass), Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).

Composed by Richard Adler & Jerry Ross


Recorded: New York, September 21, 1961


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Before concluding his early-1960s transition from trumpet to flugelhorn, Art Farmer set a goal for his swan song as a fulltime trumpeter: "I wanted it to sound as if I were sitting and talking to someone with the horn, talking to just one person." In doing so, he met the standard of eloquence defined 200 years earlier by Oliver Goldsmith: "True eloquence does not consist in saying great things in a sublime style, but in a simple style. To feel your subject thoroughly and to speak without fear are the only rules of eloquence." Wistfully, Art Farmer transforms an inane 1955 Broadway show tune from bill-and-coo tackiness to an uncommonly savvy expression of the hard-won wisdom of love's labors lost. Alas, more than love's labors were lost here. Despite its sonorous middle and lower registers, the flugelhorn's weak upper reaches are a handicap, and Farmer's playing would never again have the full range his trumpet afforded. Flügelhorn, it seems, is German for disappointment. "Goodbye, Old Girl" is American for gorgeous.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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