Art Farmer on "Sippin' at Bells"

Last month, I picked up Sonny Clark's Cool Struttin' (1958) from Princeton Record Exchange after remembering how my friend Luke Celenza once told me it was one of the first records that persuaded him to get into jazz. I've been listening to it plenty since and decided to lift Art Farmer's ear-catchingly clear and melodic solo over the bebop blues "Sippin' at Bells." I don't actually own any records of Farmer's as a leader and hadn't transcribed any of his playing before, but I was struck by the exceptional logic of his lines and how balanced his phrases sound; the voice-leading here is really something. Also, Sonny Clark's comping behind him feels great on this track. Here's the transcription:

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For whatever reason, the majority of the trumpet solo transcriptions I've done recently have been over a 12 bar blues: Clifford Brown on "Wee-Dot," Freddie Hubbard on "Birdlike," Art Farmer on "Sippin' at Bells," and I'll post up a Woody Shaw F blues solo from Larry Young's Unity (1965) shortly. It's fascinating to see how trumpet players negotiate this familiar form compared to saxophonists, I guess. Also, how trumpet players articulate is so different: playing along with the recording of Art Farmer, I noticed how much more tongue he uses in his lines, which I always associated most with Clifford Brown, who was actually born two years after Farmer.


  1. Great transcription! Another thing I love about this period is how Art treats 8th notes...right in-between straight and swinging. It's a big part of his crisp, clean delivery.


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