New: Torben Waldorff, Afterburn (ArtistShare). The Danish guitarist accomodates his early rock leanings to absorption with expansive jazz of the kind that thrives in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and is spreading around the world. Waldorff, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin and pianist-organist Sam Yahel are leaders among the articulate standard bearers of the movement. They play off one another with fiery inventiveness and with grace that allows the music to breathe. Bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Jon Wikan are fully immersed in the new sensibility. All of the compositions but one are by Waldorff. The one is Maria Schneider’s “Choro Dancado,” first recorded on her Concert in the Garden CD. The curve of its Brazilian melodic shape and the elegance of its harmonies inspire a superb performance. Waldorff’s chromaticized “Skyliner” (unrelated to the old Charlie Barnet piece) is another high point.
Old: Art Farmer, Modern Art, UA/Blue Note. This 1958 session paired the trumpeter with
tenor saxophonist Benny Golson in what amounted to a preview of their cooperative band The Jazztet. The pianist was Bill Evans in a brilliant sideman appearance before he left Miles Davis and formed his own trio. Art’s twin brother Addison was the bassist, Dave Bailey the drummer. Farmer and Golson had a nearly symbiotic relationship, but it was Evans who inspired Farmer to some of his best playing on record. The pianist’s own solos on “The Touch of Your Lips” and “Like Someone in Love” are masterpieces. The young, developing, McCoy Tyner was the pianist when Golson and Farmer launched The Jazztet in 1959. This CD tantalizes the listener with intimations of the glories that might have flowered in that group if Evans had been aboard. It is one of the most satisfying recordings of the l950s.