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JOE FARRELL with Elvin Jones

4437 Views 38 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Kritavi


Burning tenor by JOE FARRELL.
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Joe Farrell.




Along with Rich Perry he's my favorite tenor player that ever played in the Vanguard band and I never thought Return to Forever sounded better than when he was with them. I wish very much that he were still around.
Great playing on that video. What are the best recordings to hear Joe Farrell's playing???
I love his stuff on Return to Forever; La, when he shoots it up to that High F# and makes it sound good. I love his sound too, it is what I am wanting to sound like. I am getting there....
Another Farrell fan, here.

I loved the 2 trio dates he did w/ Elvin.

His soprano tone on those dates was very influential on me when I 1st started
.. and his flute tone .:shock:

Soooo gorgeous ... PERFECT,even .
His tone is to die for> K
Could he play a bit louder, or put the mic down, I can't hear him ...
Great clip Tim!

I love that "Gingerbread" tune--I think my favourite version is by Dexter Gordon.

The first time I ever heard of Joe Farrell was on that The Band Rock of Ages album!

Watching that clip I can't imagine what it must have been like to play with such an absolute monster drummer behind you! A normal man would have been terrified! And talk about filling big shoes! Wow. Very cool!

Jimmy Garrison on bass. Straight outta Philly!
Puttin It Together with Jimmy and Elvin is a real gem.
I remember going to see Return To Forever at the Jazz Workshop as a teenager. Boy was I bummed when I found out there was no Joe Farrell and instead the band had a guitar player. When I heard them- Chick, Stanley, Bill Connors, Steve Gadd and Mingo Lewis I wasn't bumming because they were fantastic but I still had my heart set on seeing Joe Farrell.
I finally got to see Joe once with the first tour of the Mingus alumnist band, what a great player.
Keith Ridenhour said:
HR Link?? K
Sounds like a Berg. I think he sounds kind of like a cross between Sonny Rollins on his Berg and Trane. Anyone agree?
Martinman said:
Sounds like a Berg. I think he sounds kind of like a cross between Sonny Rollins on his Berg and Trane. Anyone agree?
I saw him live back in the '70s. He didn't sound like Trane or Rollins. But he sounded a whole lot like Joe Farrell. Fantastic player!
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 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 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 ;

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Ed Beach was the best thing on the radio, I used to hear him around 1970. I'd listen at night when I was supposed to be asleep. I didn't know a damn thing but the way he would introduce those players and tunes made me want to listen. He was one of the great DJ's thats for sure.
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