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Tal Farlow & Red Norvo: On Stage

Jim Santella By

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This reunion between Tal Farlow and Red Norvo was recorded at the 1976 Concord Jazz Festival and originally released in 1981. Now available on CD, the session marked their first time together in many years. Along with Charles Mingus, Farlow was a member of the Red Norvo Trio of 1949. Mingus stayed for only a brief time, but the guitarist stayed with him until 1953. Then the two went their separate ways; Farlow preferring to stay home and perform at local venues. Thus, this reunion served as a prod to bring the guitarist back into the fold; he recorded a handful of albums shortly after this one.

Truly an all-star session with plenty of solos and fours, the program brought out well-worn standards for the festival audience. Hank Jones displays his light piano touch a cappella on "The Very Thought of You," coloring every phrase with expressive right hand motion and carefully selected left-hand harmony. Performed as a quartet without guitar, "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else" features piano and vibraphone trading fours with similar styles, both of them delicate and swinging. Farlow begins his medley of "A Time for Love" and "My Romance" unaccompanied and with subtle fire before bringing the quartet together again; Norvo lays out for that one. We lost Tal Farlow in 1998 and Red Norvo in 1999. Their decision to lead an all-star reunion twenty-three years ago resulted in a superb album that’s finally available on CD.


Track Listing: The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else; A Time for Love / My Romance; Lullaby of Birdland; My Shining Hour; The Very Thought of You; Rose Room / In A Mellow Tone.

Personnel: Tal Farlow- guitar; Red Norvo- vibraphone; Hank Jones- piano; Ray Brown- bass; Jake Hanna- drums.

Title: On Stage | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


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