The Gary Farr Quintet story.
straight ahead pure jazz....
How it all began
"There were four of us crowded into
a 12 x 14 ft. studio with Stan Baron on a full drum set, Juan Natividad
on bass, Mitch Farber on guitars and myself on a Kawai 6' baby grand.
Ron Fattorusso had his saxes in a tiny room next to us without any
eye contact, just headphones, mike and his horns. The overhead mikes
for the drums and piano bleeded over creating a full dynamic stereo
sound. Most of these recordings were captured on a reel to reel
Tascam 8 track analog machine creating a warm live sound. "
The Music C
lick Highlighted Song Titles (mp3)
Morning was written around 1994-95 and is one of the first
recordings which started the pioneering of Secret Formula Records.
The song reminds me of Herbie Hancock’s old classic “Maiden Voyage”.
Stan was asked to lay down a ‘Tony Williams’ feel. Gary started
comping on the piano and Ron produced a sweet alto sax tone with
the melody line.
is a fast moving jazz Samba. When the band first started gigging
down at MoJazz Cafe in Miami Beach, they created so much energy
playing it live and with an abrupt ending of the tune, to their
pleasant surprise, the crowd roared in applause.
Three Quarters To Spare is a spacey 3/4 ‘brother can you
spare me a dime’ down and out waltz featuring solo’s by Ron on flute,
Mitch on guitar and Gary on piano.
One Warm Night was a 'one take' recording without Ron.
He overdubbed sax & flute to the head at another time. You’ll heard
double time kick in during Mitch’s guitar solo, completely spontaneous.
Gary got so pumped up, he had to steal another solo before returning
to the head. This song was re-recorded in 1999 for Gary's first
released jazz CD “Lost” with a more commercial hip-hop feel created
by drummer Craig Pichanick.
as the Night was originally a piano solo composition and
re-arranged for the group. The acoustic bass sound is actually Gary
playing on a PC88 Kurzweil. Mitch tastefully inner weaves his hollow
jazz guitar between piano licks.
Gary explains; "It was weird how I composed
Chaplin Suite. I heard this bizarre tune in my head, sat
at the piano and started plucking out the changes and rhythm really
not aware of the meter changes until I had to put it to paper. From
there the tune just developed with the help of hearing Ron’s soprano.
The piano was starting to get out of tune and you can hear it on
my unison solo licks. It really fits."
I can picture Charlie Chaplin’s crooked walk with the hat and cane.
You Love Me is a love ballad featuring Ron on sax. Gary
and Ron re-recorded this song and released it on the "Fresh
Brew" CD as a groove ballad with synth
I haven’t mentioned much about the great guitarist
on these recordings, Mitch Farber. Gelato
Brasileiro is one of Mitch’s compositions and you get a
chance to hear some of his wonderful playing and song writing. A
really nice tune from a really nice gentleman.
Mesmerized is a 7/4 ballad featuring piano & flute(s).
Ron recorded two takes of his flute solo.Gary decided to stereo
split both solo’s playing at once, one with a distant reverb creating
a great effect. The keyboard sound effects in the background is
an old Emax kept in the studio. It
Sounds Right is another tune which was recorded without
Ron. Gary added a vibe sound were Ron was going to add a solo but
they never got around to it. Juan (bass) & Stan (drums) laid it
When Gary wrote Birds in Flight, he had designs
of it being for orchestra and piano. Gary's virtuoso (Oscar Peterson
like) piano playing really shines through. You can also hear Juan
playing flugelhorn along with the melody..
The first and 13th tracks on the CD were recorded in
2000 & 2001. You
‘n’ Sun features Billy Ross on Tenor, Craig Pichanick
on drums and Jeanne Tarrant on flute. This is one of the few recording
sessions Billy Ross and Gary have played on. The other recordings
can be heard on the Fresh Brew
CD. Billy is masterful on the sax and Gary stretches his piano abilities.
Gary talks about, "Bummed is something I wrote
in February of 2001. It was inspired from a financial beating I
took playing golf! I do take my golf seriously. I got up the next
morning and plucked this little tune down. Good things always come
out of bad days and this tune is one of them. I re-mixed it in 2004
for this long awaited re-release using gigastudio strings and piano."
The last cut Song for Charlie is a be-bop style
tune i.e. Charlie Parker however it was actually written for his
pet dog named Charlie who used to lie under the piano and lick on
his tapping toes while working out songs. Stan Baron trades fours
on brushes, sweet and tasty!
reviewed by 'Mr. Fly on the wall'
"I'm very proud of this CD as it was the launching of many
more CD's to follow. We created a wonderful bond with a bunch of
great friends and musicians. These are times I will never forget"