Art Farmer: Soul Eyes


Soul Eyes


Art Farmer (flumpet)


Soul Eyes (Enja 7047-2)

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Art Farmer (flumpet), Geoff Keezer (piano), Kenny Davis (bass), Lewis Nash (drums).

Composed by Mal Waldron


Recorded: live at the Blue Note in Fukuoka, Japan, May 1991


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

In the early 1960s, trumpeter Art Farmer took up the flugelhorn, attracted by its richer, woodier sound. With the flugelhorn, however, you must sacrifice some of the trumpet's range, sharpness of tone, and volume. So 30 years later, instrument designer David Monette created the flumpet specifically for Farmer, which afforded him the best of both worlds. "Soul Eyes," one of the most enchanting ballads ever written by a jazz musician, was also tailor-made for Farmer's trademark lyricism. This nine-minute track never drags as Farmer caresses the melody backed by Keezer's adroit comping and the sensitive support of Davis and Nash. Farmer's long solo is beautifully sculpted, and with his dreamy phrases and surging lines succeeds in capturing the tune's essence better than most others have. Keezer displays some of the best playing of his then young career in his following solo, his daring, intricate runs and freshly voiced chords making quite an impression, clearly inspired by Farmer's artistry. As Farmer reiterates the theme, you luxuriate in his distinctive sound and his refined grace notes and embellishments.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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