Ron Carter and Art Farmer’s Magical Chemistry

2330 RON CARTER and ART FARMER frame at 11m56s e1698930906122

“Their exquisite ensemble playing. ..provides us with an exhilarating evening of jazz.”

We are fortunate to experience the music of a great artist, whose sound has the power to move and inspire us. We are doubly lucky to listen to an ensemble of legendary artists, whose talents combined result in pure magic. That’s exactly what took place in New York’s Sweet Basil, one of the most prestigious and historic jazz clubs one memorable night in the early 1990s, when four NEA Jazz Masters (Ron Carter, Art Farmer, Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins) came together for a special performance.

Live at Sweet Basil

This was truly a dream band of Jazz Legends, with Ron Carter on bass, Art Farmer on trumpet and flugelhorn, Cedar Walton on piano and Billy Higgins on drums. An exhilarating concert, with all of them performing at their peak. They achieve a swinging ensemble sound, while maintaining a delightful interplay in their solo spots. It was the first time these legendary musicians have played together on the same stage.
Except for a scintillating version of the classic My Funny Valentine, the show’s theme song (Ron Carter’s It’s About Time), and original songs by the other featured players, were composed especially for this event. 
The performance was widely praised by the music critics, here’s one example:
“An example of Farmer’s immense talent… Farmer played with a dignity yet get-into-your-bones style that made his work a splendid demonstration of taste and sound. Every note he played danced across a listener’s ear… The most distinctive thing about this group was their relaxed demeanor and their ability to swing hard, but with an almost dainty air… Walton certainly would make the short list of most avid jazz piano devotees… his powerful chords laid down by all ten fingers can gain the attention of everyone in the room… A steady force, Higgins keeps the others marching in near-perfect tempos. His solo work is a drummers dream: solid, fancy, but not too blustery… Carter’s offering, ‘A Theme in ¾’ combines a touch of humor with a smidgen of pretty melody. The bassist’s solo edges towards the incredible… It’s a doozy.
Bob Powers, All About Jazz

Ron Carter and Art Farmer scaled e1699017191838Ron Carter

NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter is a celebrated performer, composer, and music educator. He is the most recorded bassist in history, with 2200 albums under his belt. Over his 60 year career, Ron Carter has recorded with many of the jazz greats greats: Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Bobby Timmons, Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley and Jaki Byard to name a few. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. After leaving the quintet he embarked on a prolific 50-year freelance career that spanned vastly different music genres and continues to this day. He recorded with Aretha Franklin, and appeared on the seminal hip-hop album Low End Theory with a Tribe Called Quest.

00144 Art Farmer playing Sweet Basil bw GOOD scaled e1699017240327Art Farmer

Art Farmer (1928-1999) was a jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist, who became known for his smooth and melodic style. In the early 1950s, he moved to New York City and began performing with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, and Benny Golson. Throughout his career, Farmer recorded more than 50 albums as a leader and over 600 as a sideman, becoming one of the most prolific and respected trumpet players in the history of jazz. In 1997, he was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 1999, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship, the highest honor that can be bestowed
upon a jazz musician in the United States. 

Read NEA Jazz Master Cedar Walton’s Biography HERE
Learn more about NEA Jazz Master Billy Higgins’ HERE

Enjoy an excerpt of the performance

You can see more information about the performance and purchase CD or DVD HERE
“This is a gem. It’s one you’ll want to play repeatedly.”
– The Denver Post, Jeff Bradley
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