Tal Farlow was a talented jazz guitarist. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 7, 1921 as Talmage Holt Farlow. Farlow is nearly as famous for his reluctance to play as for his fast, bebop influenced work and the occasional use of percussive finger tapping. Tal Farlow did not take up the guitar until he was already 21, but within a year was playing professionally and in 1948 was with Marjorie Hyams' band.
While with the Red Norvo Trio (which originally included Charles Mingus) from 1949-1953, Farlow became famous in the jazz world. After six months with Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five in 1953, Farlow put together his own group, which for a time included pianist Eddie Costa. Late in 1958, Farlow settled on the East Coast, became a sign painter, and just played locally. He only made one record as a leader during 1960-1975, but emerged a bit more often during 1976-1984, recording for Concord fairly regularly before largely disappearing again. Profiled in the definitive documentary Talmage Farlow, the guitarist can be heard on his own records for Blue Note (1954), Verve, Prestige (1969), and Concord. He died of cancer July 25, 1998, at age 77.