Take Five with Joe Farnsworth

His five favorite albums and why they matter.

One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers on the jazz scene today, Joe Farnsworth is known for his musical and melodic playing. He’s worked with legends like Junior Cook, Pharaoh Sanders, Brad Mehldau and Diana Krall, to name just a few. We asked him to TAKE 5 of his favorite albums and explain why they matter.


Check out his answers below, and catch him SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 at 9:30PM or 11PM at the Django. Reserve HERE.



1.  Now’s the Time  – Charlie Parker



Charlie Parker is the “father of bebop.” This music is all about rhythm and phrasing.  You’ll learn them from this record. It all starts with Bird and Max (Charlie Parker and Max Roach).



2.  April in Paris – Count Basie



I’ll take Drummer Sonny Payne all day, every day. This is what swing is all about. Every tune is a classic



3. A John Coltrane Retrospective – John Coltrane



The greatest music of spiritual power. McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison round out the greatest group of all time.  Drummer Jimmy Lovelace said he used to watch them play and people would be screaming during the gigs.



4. Moanin’ – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers



Believe it or not, drummer Art Blakey is almost taken for granted. Nobody was more dynamic,  had a bigger beat, or put together as many great bands as Art Blakey.  Every song here is a classic. Blakey is in a kingdom of his own.



5.  Milestones – Miles Davis



Drummer Philly Joe Jones, bassist Paul Chambers,  pianist Red Garland… they’re one of the greatest rhythm sections of all time. Add in Miles, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly, and the results are legendary.