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“Art was a great jazz legend who started out in the ‘50s, possibly the late ‘40s. There’s that incredible picture of all the jazz musicians in Harlem, all standing up in front of this big house. Art Farmer is at the very top of the picture.
“This is one of the first albums I heard with Steve Gadd playing drums. When you see those films from the ‘50s and they’re talking about the future, this is like that: five guys in a room imagining what the future will be like in 50 years’ time.
“On this record, Steve Gadd invented a whole new language on the drums. He may have well done it before this, but it’s the first record I had heard where he played in this particular way. It blew my mind.
“He plays a simple beat between the bass and snare drums, but there’s a lot quiet ghost-note details between the main beats. He plays a lot of fast 32-note flurries – dramatically reduced volume ghost notes. So you still had the 1 on the bass drum and the 2 and 4 on the snare drum, but there was all of this enormous detail going on between the hi-hat and snare drum.
“Funnily enough, he plays most of the album on brushes, but he does so in a way that creates a real sound difference. Rather than playing the brushes like you would on a jazz tune, scraping and swirling them around on the snare drum to give you that white noise sort of sound, he plays them as if they’re sticks. This accentuates all of the fast ghost notes.”