James Farm On JazzSet Hear Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland, live from the BeanTown Jazz Festival.

James Farm, left to right: Matt Penman, Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Eric Harland. Jimmy Katz hide caption

toggle caption
Jimmy Katz

James Farm On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/150506367/161070528" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When Joshua Redman plays Boston, it's a homecoming. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University and quickly won the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Warner Brothers signed him to make a string of successful albums.

From 2004 to '07, he was first among equals in the eight-piece SF JAZZ Collective, with Matt Penman on bass and Eric Harland on drums. Penman, from New Zealand, had studied at Berklee College of Music, the site of this show. From Houston, Texas, Harland studied at Manhattan School of Music.

In 2008, a new player, pianist Aaron Parks from Seattle (who also studied at MSM), released Invisible Cinema with Penman and Harland. Redman told DownBeat that he listened to Invisible Cinema all the time and loved the songs, the interaction and the groove. He invited the trio to join him at the 2009 Montreal International Jazz Festival, and from that they became James Farm.

Everyone asks, "Why 'James Farm'?" and the players steadfastly maintain that there is no story. It's just a name. (You can even find it on the occasional milk carton. There's a dairy business here in the Northeast that distributes James Farm products.)

As Kevin Lowenthal wrote in The Boston Globe about this BeanTown opening night, "Before an enthusiastic, jam-packed Berklee Performance Center audience, James Farm played original compositions from what Redman announced was 'our latest, greatest and only CD.' It's hard to imagine many of these pieces — more cinematically moody than melodic — being taken up by other performers. But they certainly provide near-perfect launching pads."

Redman's solo in "If By Air" from the James Farm album gets the analyst treatment in DownBeat — just out. Jimi Durso writes, "Redman plays notes and phrases that relate not so much to the harmony of the moment but instead to the chords that are coming up." What we hear as engagement and momentum comes in part from Redman thinking and playing ahead.

The other great factor is rhythm — cascades of it. Every day in his pickup truck, Eric Harland's dad used to drive him down Interstate 10 to high school, with Eric drumming on the dashboard to the traffic. James Farm closes with Harland's "I-10." Thanks to WGBH, it's on JazzSet.

The 2012 Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival takes place Sept. 27-30 at venues indoors and out in Boston. The Outdoor Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Set List
  • "1981" (Penman)
  • "If By Air" (Redman)
  • "Pollywog" (Redman)
  • "Bijou" (Parks)
  • "Chronos" (Parks)
  • "I-10" (Harland)
Credits

Onsite WGBH producer Gary Mott. Recording and remix in Surround Sound by Antonio Oliart, also of WGBH. Thanks to Rob Hayes of Berklee College of Music and the BeanTown Jazz Festival.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

The brilliant pianist played church music and R&B before joining Charles Mingus' band and forming his own quartet. He joins Marian McPartland for a song in this 1989 episode.

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/570834686/570846392" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Claudio Roditi, photographed in 1990. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

The versatile trumpeter made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s. Hear him perform with host Marian McPartland in this 1996 episode.

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567716375/567717240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ellyn Rucker at Ivory's Piano Bar in Denver on Apr. 22, 1984. Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

On this 1993 episode, the versatile vocalist and pianist joins host Marian McPartland to play the title song from her album This Heart Of Mine.

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564710563/564713341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Grover Washington Jr. performs on stage during the "One Night With Blue Note" concert in New York on Feb. 22, 1985. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In this radio episode, Jazz Night in America takes you to a tribute concert honoring the late musician, whose soulful sound was more than just "smooth."

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564442111/564555947" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gurtman and Murtha Artist Management

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

Hear "America's First Lady of the Piano" explore the boundaries between classical music and jazz with host Marian McPartland in this 2004 episode.

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562620476/562624249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jimmy Greene. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist's 2014 album was dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hear his quartet perform the genre-spanning music in concert.

Jimmy Greene's 'Beautiful Life'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/418925379/418929187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Teri Thornton, photographed on Jan. 1, 1990. Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

Revisit this 1999 episode of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, featuring the late vocalist and pianist a year before she lost her battle with cancer.

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561711244/561802316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night in America takes you to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where the hard-bop drummer celebrated his debut as a band leader and talked about fond memories and favorite sessions.

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561069637/561555776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Nate Smith Band performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 14, 2017. (Christina Ascani/NPR) Christina Ascani/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Christina Ascani/NPR

Review

Tiny Desk

Nate Smith + KINFOLK

The drums take center stage at this Tiny Desk. Watch veteran jazz percussionist Nate Smith dazzle the NPR audience in a transfixing performance.

Back To Top