Recent listening, current

Thursday, September 19, 2013

140. Tal Farlow / The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow (1956)

This blues and bop trio date with Farlow, Eddie Costa and Vinnie Burke is easy to listen to, and closer listening reveals a lot going on. The styles of Costa on piano and Farlow's guitar dovetail nicely. Farlow's eloquently phrased and heavy swinging choruses are followed by those of Costa, who plays in a hard-hitting, single-note style and is very rhythmic. Farlow uses the occasional slide, as in "Yardbird Suite," but instead of relying on an arsenal of tricks and stock licks, he is adept in inventing on the fly. The improvisations literally flow from the speakers like they're on tap. With so many ideas being tossed around, there's a lot of interplay between the piano and guitar. Burke plays the bass more or less steadily throughout, occasionally getting a chorus his own. The outtakes of "Taking a Chance on Love," Yardbird," and two (!) extra takes of "Gone with the Wind" are all so good that it's difficult to say how they determined a master. At any rate, the bonuses are much appreciated by this listener! Admirers of Ahmad Jamal's drumless trio with Ray Crawford, the Aladdin dates of Art Pepper, or the Modern Jazz Quartet should take immediately to the music herein.

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