Time To Swing

“The Good Shepherd”

(Smoke Sessions)

Drummer Joe Farnsworth has had the good fortune to work with many jazz heroes, including Horace Silver, Benny Golson, Harold Mabern and Wynton Marsalis. He was particularly excited to get the call from Marsalis, whose 1985 release Black Codes (From the Underground) had rocked his world as a high school senior. Marsalis hired Farnsworth for his 2005 release Amongst the People: Live at the House of Tribes, and subsequently used the drummer for performances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and on the soundtrack to Edward Norton’s 2019 film-noir homage Motherless Brooklyn. When Farnsworth was casting his recent recording, Time To Swing (Smoke Sessions), he immediately thought of Marsalis and was happily surprised when the busy trumpet player agreed to join him on the session. Marsalis is featured on the first four tracks, alongside pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Peter Washington and Farnsworth, who perform the remaining six tracks as a trio. Time To Swing kicks off with the drummer’s composition “The Good Shepherd,” which begins with Marsalis and Washington engaging in a steamy back-and-forth before Barron and Farnsworth enter the conversation. Washington and Farnsworth maintain a buoyant backbeat, with Barron’s comps bubbling to the surface, as Marsalis unspools the blues riffery for which he’s renowned. Barron, too, is a master of the blues idiom, as he proves with his joyful solo, and Washington and Farnsworth each enjoy ample time to reveal their expertise.

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