Joe Farrell – Moon Germs (1973/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Joe Farrell – Moon Germs (1973/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:33 minutes | 1,56 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © CTI Records
Recorded: November 21, 1972 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Recorded in 1972 and released in 1973 with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, and Jack DeJohnette, Joe Farrell’s Moon Germs was a foray into the electric side of jazz. On the opener, “Great George,” Farrell leads off with the hint of a melody before careening into legato streams of thought along striated intervallic paths. DeJohnette is like a machine gun, quadruple-timing the band as Clarke moves against the grain in a series of fours and eights, and Hancock’s attempts to keep the entire thing anchored are almost for naught. On the title track there is more of a funk backdrop, but the complex, angular runs and insane harmonic reaches Farrell attempts on his soprano, crack, falter, and ultimately turn into something else; the sheer busy-ness of the track is dazzling. “Bass Folk Song” by Clarke, is the only thing on the record that actively engages melody rather than harmonic structures. Farrell uses his flute and Hancock strides into the same kind of territory he explored with Miles Davis, chopping up chordal phrases into single lines and feeding them wholesale to the running pair of frontmen–in this case Clarke and Farrell. DeJohnette uses a Latin backdrop to hang his drumming on and pursues a circular, hypnotic groove on the cymbals and toms. It’s a gorgeous piece of music and utilizes an aspect of space within the melodic frame that the rest of these firebrand tunes do not. This is sci-fi Farrell at his creative best. —AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

Moon Germs is one of the few true jazz albums put out by CTI, a label whose artists gravitated towards the commercial possibilities of soul jazz, primarily to put food on the table. It’s a jaw dropper, one of the truly classic albums from the era. Farrell, known primarily for his work with Elvin Jones in the sixties and Chick Corea in the early seventies, has wisely recruited three up and comers from the new fusion scene for a session that proves every bit as intriguing as the truly bizarre cover.
Moon Germs features a wealth of styles, often within the space of one song; “Great Gorge”, for instance, starts off in prime CTI fashion with a funky head that wouldn’t be out of place on a George Benson album before blasting off into a breathless free jazz middle section. Clarke’s galloping bass lines combine with Dejohnette’s machine gun drumming while Hancock tries (almost in vain) to hold everything together with a few electric keyboard jabs. “Gorge” is the highlight of the album, but the other three tunes aren’t far behind, including a tune borrowed from Chick Corea (Farrell’s partner in Return to Forever) and “Bass Folk Song”, a lovely melody composed by Clarke that is also an excellent showcase for his dexterity.
Those who despise fusion would do well to pick up this album, for it may very well change their opinion; Moon Germs won’t be removed from your CD player anytime soon. —David Rickert, All About Jazz

Tracklist:
1 Great Gorge 11:40
2 Moon Germs 7:23
3 Times Lie 8:25
4 Bass Folk Song 9:50

Personnel:
Joe Farrell – soprano saxophone, flute
Herbie Hancock – electric piano
Stanley Clarke – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums

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