Addison Farmer was the twin brother of the better-known trumpeter Art Farmer, with whom he played in several groups, including an excellent late-'50s combo with the fine saxophonist and composer Benny Golson. The bassist's career was relatively brief by jazz standards, his first recordings taking place in Los Angeles in 1949 under the auspices of bandleader Teddy Edwards. Addison Farmer had studied music extensively by that time, including formal bass lessons with Fred Zimmerman as well as classes in both piano and theory at the Juilliard School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
The bassist fit well into rhythm sections involved in the jazz of several different eras, matching well with the bluesy piano progressions of Kansas City jazz legend Jay McShann as well as the bebop explorations of masters such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Sibling rivalry does not seem to have been an issue with the Farmer family, the bassist also grabbing a spot in a New York City band fronted by his brassy brother and alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce. Many jazz listeners come across this bassist while perusing the Prestige catalog of hard bop; highlights of his work for this label include a self-titled LP by the Prestige Jazz Quartet as well as a hard-driving session by pianist Mal Waldron.
- By Eugene Chadbourne
All Music Group