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Monday, November 20, 2023

In The Own Sweet Way - Eddie Costa & Art Farmer


Nature Boy

In Their Own Sweet Way
Eddie Costa
Art Farmer
Premier Records PS-2002

From the back cover: The word "phenomenon" as outlined in the dictionary, pertains to an exceptional person, things or occurrence, and is frequently used in a banal attempt to give class or distinction to an otherwise colorless performer. Generally, the music trade is apathetic to such inaccurate semantics, but once in a while they solely nod in agreement that some newcomer is fully deserving of such accolades. Eddie Costa who recently captured the Down Beat international jazz critics' poll on both vibes and piano, fits this select category.

During his boyhood in Mount Carmel, Penn., Eddie's latent music talent was sparked by his brother, Bill Costa, who is a pianist/accordionist with an excellent reputation in the music field. Through the happy coincidence of Bill's encouragement and an expert home town piano teacher, Eddie became an adequate pianist and accepted professional employment as such albeit that is age was a scant fifteen years. Despite the restrictions of age, which forced at least one club owner to shut down, Eddie continued his preparation for a career in music.

His inevitable arrival in Gotham in 1948 produced a second twist in his career which revolved around brother Bill. Needing employment, Eddie auditioned for a band on which Bill was playing piano and gives. Witnessing Eddie's superb piano technique, the leader assumed he was also a vibes player, although Eddie had never lifted a mallet professionally, He began experimenting with the instrument and in a relatively short period of time he transferred his piano dexterity to the vibes. How successfully this was accomplished is indicated by the Down Beat new star nomination in which he swept to the top of both categories by a wide margin.

Eddie incorporated his own writing and playing skill with one of the country's leading jazz talents, trumpeter Art Farmer, who has taken the jazz world by storm as a logical successor to the mantle of Miles Davis with his inspirational attack and conception. Altoist Phil Woods was a featured member of Dizzy Gillespie's "State Department" band, and displays versitility on his instrument that has seldom been heard in the modern idiom. Bassist Teddy Kotick is an extraordinary rhythm man who has been in the employ of some of the greatest names in the trade. Likewise, drummer Paul Morton who, with his infallible time sense, has become one of the most frequently used drummers on the East Coast. Collectively, this is a superior quintet.

Four originals and three standards comprise the material heard in this set with chart contributions by Costa, Farmer and Woods. The fact that each writer had prior knowledge of the temperament and capabilities of his fellow tradesmen permitted them a wider experimental scope and produced some refreshing ideas.

Get Out Of The Road
In Your Own Sweet Way
Big Ben
Nature Boy
Blues Plus Eight
I Didn't Know What Time It Was
Stretch In "F"

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