On its debut album, James Farm—a collaborative band featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland—uses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation for its song-based approach to jazz and incorporates the members’ myriad influences: rock, soul, folk, classical, electronica. The New York Times calls it "a model of dazzling proficiency."
James Farm is a collaborative band featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. The band uses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation for its song-based approach to jazz and incorporates the members’ myriad influences: rock, soul, folk, classical, and electronica, among many others. Nonesuch releases the band's self-titled debut album on April 26, 2011.
Penman says of the group, “James Farm is where we pool our collective knowledge, let run the best of our ideas arising from our varied musical influences, while acknowledging substantial common ground—a love of jazz, a fascination with song and structure, an obsession with groove, and a receptivity to contemporary influences. A band where we can be creative composers and improvisers, in step with the rhythm of the times, constantly evolving.”
The quartet has received critical acclaim since its debut at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, where they played to a packed house and rave reviews. “This much is clear: these are absolute professional musicians at the top of their game,” said All About Jazz.
Although this is the first time the quartet members have performed and recorded in this exact configuration, the musicians were hardly strangers. Redman, Harland, and Penman performed together as part of the SFJAZZ Collective, and pianist Aaron Parks used the James Farm rhythm section on his debut recording for Blue Note records, Invisible Cinema (2008).
Produced by James Farm
Recorded by James Farber
Recording Assistant: Eli Walker
Recorded August 26-29, 2010 at The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, New York
Additional Recording by Pete Rende
Edited by Joshua Redman, Eli Walker, and Dave Darlington
Mixed by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Studios, New York, NY
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
Production Coordinators: Maggie Lange and Courtney Hawkes
Design by John Gall
Cover Photograph by Aaron Parks
Band Photograph by Jimmy Katz
"Plowed Field with Blue Sky" Photograph by Blaise Howard, Getty Images / The Image Bank
Eric Harland uses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, and Vater sticks
Joshua Redman uses Alexander reeds
Joshua Redman, tenor saxophone (1-9), soprano saxophone (10)
Aaron Parks, piano; tack piano, Prophet-5 (1); pump organ, humming (2); Rhodes, Prophet-5, Hammond Home Organ (4); Celeste, Prophet-5 (6); Rhodes (8); pump organ, Hammond Home Organ (9)
Matt Penman, bass
Eric Harland, drums