Guitarist Tal Farlow had two advantages, one natural, the other acquired. He had large hands and long fingers, and developed the ability to play at speed as a member of the Red Norvo Trio, where it was a sine qua non. He formed his own group in 1954, and these four Verve albums all date from the late fifties. "Autumn in New York" was recorded in November 1954, with Gerry Wiggins on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Chico Hamilton on drums. Overall it's a fairly relaxed affair, but for Ray Noble's "Cherokee" which is played at breakneck speed. "The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow" was recorded in March and June 1956, with Eddie Costa on piano and Vinnie Burke on bass, generally regarded as one of his finest groups. Burke provides a walking bass throughout, with Farlow and Costa alternating between playing in unison and trading phrases. "This is Tal Farlow" dates from February 1958, with Costa on piano, Nabil Totah on bass and Jimmy Campbell on drums. The Harold Arlen album was recorded in December 1959, with a group comprising Frank Wess on tenor sax & flute, Dick Hyman on piano, and Osie Johnson on drums, with Wendell Marshall and Joe Benjamin sharing bass, and Bennie Powell added on trombone for four numbers. Because Tal Farlow went into semi-retirement for a long period he's less well-known today than he deserves to be. I hope that this reissue of four of his best albums will help win a new legion of admirers.
10 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?