Joes mouthpiece was a HARD RUBBER BERG 100 over zero
with #5 Rico brown box reeds.
The tenor was a MK6 later to be a factory gold plate MK6 he got in early 70s.
Joe was serious biz, he had ENERGY and knowledge. I used to go to his house near Central Park & practice with him, talk music all day sometimes.
I miss him, he was a total musician in an ear where there WERE tours and 7 night a week jazz gigs. Joe also was a interesting writer, some of his tunes I urge you to check out. I think " Molten Glass" is in the RealBook but might not have the tensions correct. Also " Great Gorge" is a fantastic funk tune from the " Moon Germs" CTI session as " Moon Germs" is a nother Farrell tune.
I still play " BaraBara"...a lot.
Joe took me to check out the " Moon Germs" record date...at Rudy Van Gelders. What a day!! It was all 1st takes and really inspiring playing. I still can hear Joes soprano sound in my mind. On that date he had recorded a version on English Horn of " What Are You Doing The Rest Of You Life". It never got to the record. Herbie Hancock years later remarked to me, when I asked him if he remembered it, about how Farrell was just together in such a complete way.
I mean, we all know Elvin had some incrediable tenor players. Some guys never got recorded with Elvin either...Like the late Roland Alexander. Roland was something else. But Joe Farrell, was the cat. He was centered and ready for that gig. HIS TIME WAS A KNOCK OUT. He told me once about the rubber Berg and how he got sick of the Link he use to use with Jaki and Maynard cause of the projection. He also gave me advise on gigs to persue like getting into the CHITLIN CIRCUIT to get some experience in the organ group thing. Which- he was 100% right about.
Speaking of Elvin Jones; there was a radio show in the 60s I heard from Boston. I wasn't there yet but a pianist had it...it was Herb Pomeroys radio jazz show....with Elvins band live. NOW, the clincher was Farrell had yet to join Elvin, but on this show Elvin had the great Joe Alexander!!! The legendary Joe Alexander from Clevland Ohio. LOVANO even wrote a tune about him - called " Alexander The Great". In any case...if anyone has a copy of the tape- I'D LIKE ONE. I was just talking to Ernie Krivda about that SHOW last week and he mentioned the same thing via a tape of it. SOMEWHERE, ,
there gotta be one. ( I hope ) This musta been from 1965-ish or so?!?
Just in case- keep your ears open on it.
Farrell was funny too. He had a studio for rehearsals in his home and HERMENTO...was rehearsing there. Hermento took a metal pot Farrell had on the stove and was using it as a drum. I asked Joe why, and
he sais " Hermento said it was in Db " and broke out laughing. Joe also used to get a kick outta Ed Beachs radio shows. Once he took me up there and Beach looked exactly as he sounded as per Joes quips. Wing tip shoes and thick glasses. It was far out. Anyone here remember ED BEACH radio shows in NYC? This was mid 70s.
Anyhow; here's another ELVIN with Joe ;
ENJOY THE MASTER OF THE TENOR- Joe Farrell.