musician from Chicago Heights,
Illinois, who began playing
clarinet and flute at eleven years of age. He attended Illinois University
and then relocated to the Big Apple, where he found studio work as a
In 1960, he
became a member of the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. He slid over to Slide
Hampton’s band in 1962.
In 1965, he multi-tasked on The Jaki Byard Quartet album, The Last from Lennie’s, playing
flute, soprano sax, and tenor sax.
This was followed by Chick Corea’s Tones for Joan’s Bones and Pat
Martino’s Strings. In 1968, he toured with the Elvin
Jones trio in England
and the Netherlands. He appeared on the album, Jazz for a Sunday Afternoon—Live
at the Village Vanguard, in 1969.
time, he formed his own quartet, and they released an album under their own
name in 1970. Joe Farrell Quartet was also known
as Song of the Wind and Super Session, and featured Chick Corea on piano, Jack DeJohnette
on Drums, Joe on flute, oboe, soprano and tenor sax, Dave Holland on bass,
and John McLaughlin on guitar.
He still found time to guest-star on other people’s
recordings, such as Johnny Hodges’ 3 Shades of Blue and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s
to release solo albums, including Moon
Germs and Outback, whilst
joining Chick Corea’s group, Return to
Forever. They released a
self-titled album in 1972. In
1973, Joe appeared on Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, Return to Forever’s Light as a Feather, a TV special
entitled Reelin’ in the Years, and the stage
of the Berlin Jazz Festival, which he shared with guitarist Joe Beck,
bassist Herb Bushler, and drummer Steve Gadd.
He kept record
shelves stocked with his own LPs, such as Canned Funk, Penny Arcade
and Upon This Rock, which
featured Beck and Bushler with Jimmy Madison on
drums. In 1976, he collaborated
with George Benson on Benson &
Farrell, Parliament on Mothership
Connection, and Lalo Schifrin on the
soundtrack of Black Widow.
In 1977, he
released Promise Me Your Love,
played flute, piccolo, soprano and tenor sax on Return to Forever Live, and inked a huge deal with Warner Bros.
that led to recording dates with Rod Stewart and the Bee Gees. More solo efforts followed: Le
Catedral Y El Toro, Night Dancing and Skate
Board Park hit the shelves in the late 1970s.
He made the
great egress to L.A.
in 1980 and joined the Mingus Dynasty, which
comprised Randy Brecker, Roland Hanna, Billy
Hart, Jimmer Knepper,
and Aladar Pege. His own albums around this time
included Darn That Dream, Sonic Text, and Vim ‘n’ Vigor.
Joe died in
January 1986. He left behind a
wealth of recordings, however, and much of his ‘70s output began
resurfacing on CD in 2011.
Bee Gees Recordings
Edge of the Universe (Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb)
- Stone Flower: Liner notes