Trumpeter Art Farmer(1928-1999) and alto saxophonist/composer Gigi Gryce(1925-1983) joined forces for these two excellent quintet sessions in 1954 & 1955. Tracks 1-4 were recorded in New Jersey on May 19, 1954 with Art Farmer(trumpet); Gigi Gryce(alto sax); Horace Silver(piano); Percy Heath(bass) & Kenny Clarke(drums). Tracks 5-8 were recorded in New Jersey on May 26, 1955 with a different rhythm section of Freddie Redd(piano); Addison Farmer(bass) & Art Taylor(drums). The eight memorable tracks are all Gryce originals and highlights include 'A Night at Tony's', 'Blue Concept', 'Social Call' & 'Blue Lights'. 'When Farmer met Gryce' is an enjoyable and inventive early hard bop album which deserves to be more widely known.
Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce's "When Farmer Met Gryce" is one of the best pre-Jazztet recordings by the great, late trumpeter. Originally released as two 10-inch LPs, "When Farmer Meets Gryce" is actually two sessions. The first four tunes are from a May 19, 1954 performance featuring the rhythm trio of Horace Silver, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke, and tracks 5-8 are from a May 26, 1955 date with Freddie Redd, Art's brother Addison and Art Taylor. Of course, Art plays trumpet and Gigi Gryce is on alto sax on both sessions. All eight of the disc's compositions were penned by Gryce, who along with Farmer's future Jazztet co-founder Benny Golson, was one of Prestige's (and the late 50s jazz scene in general) best writer/arrangers. "When Farmer Met Gryce" was truly a momentous event.