Talmadge Holt Farlow, 7 June 1921, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, d. 25 July 1998, Sea Bright, New Jersey, USA. Although his father was an amateur musician, Tal Farlow did not begin playing guitar until 1942, working as a professional sign-painter for several years. Before the decade was out he had achieved a sufficiently high standard to be hired by cabaret singer Dardanelle, vibraphonist Margie Hyams and clarinettist Buddy De Franco. In 1950, by now a fleet and inventive guitarist inspired by Charlie Christian, he joined forces with another vibes player, Red Norvo, thus beginning a long-running and fruitful, if intermittent, musical partnership. The third member of this group was Charles Mingus. Although he initially struggled to keep up with Norvos startling speed, Farlow developed a technique that in turn made him the fastest guitarist of his era.
In 1953 Farlow worked with Artie Shaw, and later in the decade led his own trio on...
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