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Art Farmer ( Arthur Stewart Farmer , August 21, 1928, Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States – October 4, 1999), was an American musician of jazz that played the trumpet and the flugelhorn, and sometimes the flumpet.
Arthur Stewart Farmer was born on August 21, 1928 in Council Bluffs (Iowa, United States) and was the son of a steel worker. Farmer began working as a musician in the mid-40s. Based in Los Angeles, he was part of the Benny Carter and Jay McShann bands, among others.
He joined the Lionel Hampton orchestra around 1953 (trumpet players such as Clifford Brown and Quincy Jones were also part of the Hampton orchestra at that time) and after moving to New York, he later worked with Gigi Gryce, Horace Silver and Gerry Mulligan, among others. From the mid-1950s, he appeared on recordings of the leading arrangers of the time, including George Russell, Jones and Oliver Nelson. He also formed The Jazztet with tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson; both men separately had made the decision that the other should be a member of their group. The Jazztet did not have enough club contracts to last beyond 1962, but it did help several musicians, such as pianist McCoy Tyner and trombonist Grachan Moncur III, and the group recorded several albums for Argo and Mercury Records. Farmer and Golson revived The Jazztet in the 1980s for a series of contracts, with original trombonist Curtis Fuller returning to the group.
In the early 1960s, Farmer formed a trio with guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Steve Swallow. Then they moved to Europe, finally settling in Vienna (Austria), where he worked with The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. He also made recordings as a leader throughout his later career.
He had an identical twin brother, Addison Farmer, who played bass. British trumpeter Humphrey Lyttleton once told the following story about them:
Once, when an interviewer asked the brothers how they were different, Art replied tersely: in the morning I pick up the bass and if I can not touch it, it’s Art.
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