Art Farmer Donald Byrd “Two Trumpets” (1956)

Track Selection: The Third (7:27)


Donald Byrd (tp) Art Farmer (tp, flh) Jackie McLean (as) Barry Harris (p) Doug Watkins (b) Art Taylor (d)  Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, August 3, 1956


PRLP 7062 as its better known to our friends across the pond. For once Prestige under-excelled themselves with the original cover design. “2 Trumpets” – very original.

Art and Donald are in fine form, and if there is any competition it serves only to increase the musical yield. Jackie Mclean adds just the right note of astringency and variety of tone. Barrie Harris provides solid foundations for the improvisations while  Doug Watkins and Art Taylor maintain impeccable pace.  An excellent bop session and two trumpets is just the right number when its Farmer and Byrd.


Marvelous pressing, I would be happy to pit it against the NYC original press any day, better if anything I hazard. Usual RVG hand-inscribed initials in the run-out, a first class Esquire, with a musical presence and dynamic range that puts in in the front seat of the peformance and puts to shame the wooden-sounding CD I was listening to a moment previously. Over fifty years ago they created this magical quality recording yet had no means of playing it back at that time except through a lumbering radiogram with an arm tracking at four times current weight, butchering the vinyl at any opportunity. To judge from the absence of marks around the spindle hole this copy had hardly if ever been played.

Visualise the hot wax, read for hand-inscribed initials  R   V   G  . More personal than the later machine-stamped initials. The man was there. He did it. Personally

Collectors Corner

As a Prestige 1956 original on original 446W NYC labels Goldmine puts this as one of Art Farmer’s most prized records. Fortunately for me the eBay competition for an Esquire was spirited but less fierce and I was delighted to walk away with this for a very modest price, if anything, not enough. But it makes up for the time you pay too much, which also happened this week, so I feel OK about it, “on average” Made a nice diversion to the deadzone between Christmas and the New Year, and an excellent kick off to 2012

7 thoughts on “Art Farmer Donald Byrd “Two Trumpets” (1956)

  1. Ah… 2 Trumpets… Great memories: when I was in the army as a young sergeant, I always had to sign in at the base on Sunday night. One Sunday night however me and my mates didn’t feel like signing in early at all, so we decided to pop into a bar first. 2 Trumpets was in my ‘discman’ and after my third pint of lager, I dared asking the owner of the joint if he could put my CD on. After all, we were the only customers that night and maybe playing a few tracks would make us order a few pints more. The owner, to my surprise, said “no problem”. I handed him the disc and he played -at a decent volume I might add- “Contour”, “Dig” and, aptly, “‘Round Midnight”. Given the length of the three tracks he chose, we stayed for a good 30 minutes longer, guzzling down a few more pints. When we finally signed in that night, too late of course, the lieutenant wasn’t very amused when we told him that our encounter with two trumpets held us up. 😉

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