Art Farmer and Addison Farmer

Art Farmer and Addison Farmer were two of the most respected jazz musicians in America and Europe. The twin brothers were born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on August 21, 1928 into a musical family. At age four, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona then later ventured to Los Angeles, California where they attended Jefferson High School in their senior year with others who also became prominent jazz musicians.

Art and Addison Farmer at age 4
Art and Addison Farmer at age 4 (Art is on the right)

Addison Farmer, bassist, made his mark performing with Miles Davis and Charlie Parker in Los Angeles then free-lanced in New York City with many notable musicians including Gigi Gryce, Teddy Charles, Stan Getz and Mose Allison. He was a member of the original Art Farmer – Benny Golson Jazztet, a highly regarded ensemble that formed in 1959. Addison studied at the Juilliard Music School in New York. His promising career was tragically cut short when he passed away unexpectedly, in February 1963, due to a brain aneurysm.

Here is a summary of Addison’s recordings that are NOT found in Art’s discography, in other words, Addison’s recordings where Art did not perform. Addison apparently made no recordings as a leader.

Rec. Date Lead Artist Issues Album Titles
Ca. 1946 Monte Easter Blue Moon (Sp.) BMCD 6053 Monte Easter: The Complete Recordings Volume 1: 1945-1951
Early 1946 Charlie Parker Spotlite (Eng.) SPJ123 Yardbird in Lotus Land
1947-03 Howard McGhee Mosaic MD7-129 (excerpts containing Bird solos only) The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker
1947-06 Howard McGhee Uptown UPCD 27.74 West Coast 1945-1947
1947-07 Teddy Edwards Onyx ORI 215 Central Avenue Breakdown, Volume 2
Ca. 1949 Jerome Ty Parsons AB Fable (Eng.) ABCD1-010 Ginger Smock: Strange Blues – Studio & Demo Recordings 1946-1958
Ca. 1949 Monette Moore AB Fable (Eng.) XABCD1-X025 Baby, Ain’tcha Satisfied? – On Air and Rare
1951-05-10 Linda Hopkins Savoy SJL 2233 Ladies Sing the Blues
1954-02 Saunders King Flair 1035, 1045  
Ca. 1954-04 Gerald Wilson Audio Lab AL 1538 Big Band Modern
Ca. 1955 Betty St. Claire Jubilee LP 23 Cool and Clearer
1957-01-17 Teddy Charles Elektra EKL 136 Vibe-Rant
1957-04-14 Teddy Charles New Jazz NJLP 8216 Coolin’
1957-04-27 Teo Macero and Prestige Jazz Quartet Prestige PRLP 7104 Teo
1957-05-18 Curtis Fuller & Hampton Hawes Status ST 8305 Curtis Fuller and Hampton Hawes with French Horns
1957-06-06 Sahib Shihab Savoy MG 12112 The Jazz We Heard Last Summer
1957-06-22 Prestige Jazz Quartet Prestige PRLP 7108 The Prestige Jazz Quartet
1957-07-12 Stan Getz Quartet Verve MGV 8321 The Soft Swing
1957-10 Sam Most Bethlehem BCP 78 The Amazing Mr. Sam Most
1957-11-08 Mose Allison Prestige PR 7121 Local Color
1958-01-24 Mose Allison Prestige PR 7137 Young Man Mose
1958-04-18 Mose Allison Prestige PR 7215 Ramblin’ with Mose
1958-08-01 Lambert, Hendricks & Ross United Artists 45-156 Doodlin’/Spirit Feel
1958-08-15 Mose Allison Prestige PR 7152 Creek Bank
1958-09-26 Mal Waldron Trio New Jazz LP 8208 Mal4/Trio
1958-10-23 Bob Brookmeyer United Artists UAL 4008 Kansas City Revisited
1959-02-10 Teddy Charles Quartet Bethlehem BCP 6032 Salute to Hamp
1959-02-13 Mose Allison Prestige PRLP 7189 Autumn Song
1959-03-20 Mal Waldron Trio New Jazz NJ 8242 Impressions
1959-10 & 11 Manhattan Jazz All Stars Columbia CL 1426 Swinging Guys and Dolls
1959-12-21 Mose Allison Columbia CL 1444 Transfiguration of Hiram Brown
Ca. 1960 Betty Blake Bethlehem BCP 6058 Betty Blake Sings in a Tender Mood
Ca. 1960 Mal Waldron Music Minus One MMO 1015 Sing or Play the Music of Duke Ellington
Ca. 1960 Various Artists Warwick W 5003 The Soul of Jazz Percussion
1960-06-28 Mose Allison Columbia CL 1565 I Love the Life I Live
1960-08-25 Teddy Charles Warwick W 2033 Metronome Presents Jazz in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art
Ca. 1961 Anthony Ortega Herald HLP 0101 A Man and His Horns
Ca. 1961 Mal Waldron Music Minus One MMO 175 Fun with Brushes
1962-03-15 Mose Allison Atlantic LP 1389 I Don’t Worry About a Thing
1962-11-08 Mose Allison Atlantic LP 1398 Swingin’ Machine

Art Farmer, flumpeter, flugelhornist and trumpeter, “Mr. Melody” became most known for his lyrical sensitive melodic playing as well as his ability to adapt to diverse musical styles. He began his career in Los Angeles working with band leaders Horace Henderson, Floyd Ray, Johnny Otis, Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson and Jay McShann. Art was a member of the illustrious 1953 Lionel Hampton band, which included Clifford Brown, Quincy Jones, Gigi Gryce among others. Art worked with Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan and George Russell. He formed a Quintet with Gigi Gryce. In late 1959 he founded the legendary Jazztet (a sextet) with saxophonist Benny Golson which stayed together until 1962 and later reformed for a brief period in the 1980’s. In the sixties, Art formed a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall. He also toured Europe several times. In 1968 when he was invited to join a radio orchestra in Austria, Art moved to Vienna. He became a featured soloist with other well-known European big bands. Art established his own Quintet performing in cities across the United States and in nearly all countries of Europe and in Japan. In the last several years of his life, Art received recognition for his achievements: The NEA Jazz Masters’ Lifetime Achievement Award, The Austrian Gold Medal of Merit and the highest Austrian Award for Arts and Sciences and a major concert in his honor at Lincoln Center, New York in August, 1994 saluted his life-time musical achievements. His contemporaries participated, including Gerry Mulligan, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Ron Carter, Jim Hall, Wynton Marsalis, Geoffrey Keezer and Lewis Nash. Art passed away of a heart attack October 4, 1999 in New York City.