The Jazztet at Birdhouse is a live album by the Jazztet, led by trumpeter Art Farmer and saxophonist Benny Golson. It features performances recorded in Chicago in 1961 and was originally released on the Argo label.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden:
The Jazztet were only in existence for a brief time (1959-1962, not counting the later reunions), but with a flurry of recording activity they left a valuable legacy. By the time of they made their fourth album, co-leaders Art Farmer and Benny Golson were the only remaining original members, but the presence of underrated trombonist Tom McIntosh (who is appreciated more for his compositions than his playing ability, since he stopped performing in 1969), Cedar Walton, bassist Thomas Williams, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath are a welcome presence. These live performances are from a 1961 engagement at the Birdhouse in Chicago. Golson’s “Junction” is an easygoing blues that is marred slightly by what seems to be a rather sloppy edit in the master tape. A hard-blowing up-tempo take of “Farmer’s Market,” written by Farmer but arranged by Golson, features memorable solos by the leaders, while J.J. Johnson’s arrangement of his blues “Shutterbug” clearly inspires the group. McIntosh’s “November Afternoon” seems to begin as a ballad, but quickly evolves into a hard bop cooker. Golson’s extended treatment of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” features his emotional tenor sax, while Farmer alternates between his mellow flugelhorn and fiery trumpet. The interaction between the musicians throughout the session adds to the value of this live material, and it is good to finally have it reissued intact, though it won’t be available for long since it is part of Verve’s limited-edition reissue series (https://goo.gl/uJ5vWG).
“Junction” (Benny Golson) – 5:54
“Farmer’s Market” (Art Farmer) – 8:36
“Darn That Dream” (Jimmy Van Heusen, Eddie DeLange) – 4:28
“Shutterbug” (J. J. Johnson) – 4:50
“‘Round Midnight” (Thelonious Monk) – 10:12
“November Afternoon” (Tom McIntosh) – 6:16
Art Farmer – trumpet, flugelhorn
Benny Golson – tenor saxophone
Tom McIntosh – trombone
Cedar Walton – piano
Tommy Williams – bass
Albert Heath – drums
Recorded: May 15, 1961
Producer: Kay Norton
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