Tal Farlow: Fascinating Rhythm
Tal Farlow (guitar)
A Sign of the Times (Concord Jazz CCD-4026)
Composed by George & Ira Gershwin.
Recorded: San Francisco, August 2, 1976
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Tal Farlow must not have received many Christmas cards from drummers. After establishing himself as a member of the drummerless Red Norvo Trio from 1949-1953, Farlow likewise dispensed with drummers for his mid-'50s trio albums with piano and bass. And here, 20 years later, he was still at it, shunning the company of drummers as if they carried bubonic plague in those unwieldy wheel-shaped cases they religiously lugged to gigs. Yet when a band can swing like this one does without aid of cymbals, snares, bongos or castanets, who needs a percussionist? While it's true that Tal's guitar chops in the '70s were not what they'd been in the '50s (whose were?), his playing still dazzles, especially when, as part of a prearranged unison with Hank Jones before the out chorus, Farlow plays a descending chordal glissando that sounds for all the world like some appreciative fan exclaiming, "Whew!" He took the word right out of my mouth.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz