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Review "Tal Farlow" Biography
(Review in next Just Jazz Guitar issue)

“Tal Farlow”
By Guy Littler- Jones

Biography of Tal Farlow by Guy Littler-Jones that is chock full of historical information about Tal’s recording and performance career as well as interesting anecdotes by Steve Rochinski and Greg Clayton. Incredibly researched book that reads very easy and is a must for Tal fans. Guy writes about Tal’s early years, his experiences with the Red Norvo group with Charles Mingus, Tal’s “little red guitar” as Michele Farlow calls it and a chapter on Tal’s unusual technique. (Chapter 4). This chapter will surely interest any guitarist that wishes to learn how Tal executed some of his uncanny lines, harmonies and snare drum effects. Tal’s sign painting is discussed, his home in Sea Bright, his interest in electronics and his so called “retirement” and return. Fascinating! Especially interesting to me are the stories of Tal’s time with Jimmy Raney and Sal Salvador.
Guy lists every recording, date, sidemen, and tune ever recorded by Tal and company. Included are films, videos, and a complete bibliography. There are quotes from, “Just Jazz Guitar”, “Downbeat” “Crescendo”, ”Guitar Magazine” and many others. Quite an undertaking. Obviously Guy has much admiration for Tal and his music.
The “Epilogue” chapter (10) is endearing and gives a short summary of a wonderful artist, guitarist, and very special man.

Jack Wilkins January 2008