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James Farm Takes Seed as New All-Star Jazz Band

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Friday May 06, 2011

From Spinner

James Farm Takes Seed as New All-Star Jazz Band
By: Tad Hendrickson

Yes, many will call James Farm an all-star band. Featuring drummer Eric Harland, bassist Matt Penman, pianist Aaron Parks and saxophonist Joshua Redman, the band certainly has some of the leading lights of today’s jazz scene. But to hear Harland and Parks speak about the band’s origins, James Farm seems something organically grown rather than a self-conscious assembly of heavy hitters.

“We’re just a bunch of guys who like making music together,” Parks points out to Spinner. “We have a lot of shared history and ultimately, from my perspective, we are not trying break new ground as much as make music that feels good, that’s honest and that is coming from ourselves.”

The rhythm section, in particular, has a history of playing together. Harland (whom Parks calls a musical soul mate) brought the three of them out on a tour some years ago. Then Penman used them on 2008’s ‘Catch of the Day’ and Parks used them on his Blue Note debut ‘Invisible Cinema’ from that same year. Redman also played with Harland and Penman in the SFJazz Collective in that group’s early incarnations, so it’s really more a matter of these and other overlapping circles that brought the four together.

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