The premise of this Atlantic set is a bit unusual.
The Art Farmer Quartet (consisting of flugelhornist Farmer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete LaRoca), which was together from 1962-64 (after the demise of the Jazztet),
was passing through Stockholm, Sweden at the time of this date and the
musicians felt inspired to record a full album of traditional Swedish
folk songs. Respect is paid to the often haunting melodies and Farmer sounds quite at home in this context, sometimes hinting a bit at Chet Baker.
Fortunately, not all of the tunes are taken at a ballad pace, and once the themes are fully stated, Farmer and Hall
have plenty of harmonically sophisticated solos. The band's cool and
restrained style suits the music perfectly, turning it into jazz without
losing its essence. Although a brief set (at under 33 minutes), every
note counts on this successful outing.
Personnel: Art Farmer (fluegelhorn) Jim Hall (guitar) Pete LaRoca (drums) Steve Swallow (bass)
Tracklist: 01. Va Da Du (Was It You) (Traditional) 5.24 02. De Salde Sina Hemman (They Sold Their Homestead) (Traditional) 6.13 03. Den Motstravige Brudgummen (The Reluctant Groom) (Traditional) 5.52 04. Och Hor Du Unga Dora (And Listen Young Dora) (Traditional) 5.51 05. Kristallen Den Fina (The Fine Crystal) (Traditional) 3.12 06. Visa Vid Midsommartid (Midsummer Song) (Traditional) 6.15