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Art Farmer: In Europe

Recorded live on May 4, 1970, at Munich’s Domicile club, this document preserves what is presumably the best of the music taped during Farmer’s appearance. It can further be assumed, judging by the sound of the applause earned by each of the trumpeter’s five originals, that there were probably not many more than 25 or so people in attendance. But as disappointing as that may have been at the time for club owner Ernst Knauff, to his credit he kept the tapes intact all these years, finally turning them over to Enja for their long-delayed release. Although widely respected as a flugelhornist, on this occasion Farmer concentrates on trumpet alone, sharing his Miles-tinged sound and imaginative improvisations with a local rhythm section composed of pianist Fritz Pauer, bassist Peter Marshall, and drummer Erich Bachtragl. It has been an unfortunate axiom for over seven decades that jazz rhythms lose something in translation once they cross the Atlantic, and so it is once again that the leaden, cluttered backing that Farmer receives here only makes one that much more homesick for the States.

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