Tal Farlow - Verve Masters 41
  1. Autumn Leaves
  2. It's You Or No One
  3. Little Girl Blue
  4. Out Of Nowhere
  5. Everything I've Got
  6. Isn't It Romantic
  7. Meteor
  8. Lorinesque
  1. Love Nest
  2. Yesterdays
  3. With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair
  4. I Remember You
  5. Moonlight Becomes You
  6. Autumn In New York
  7. Stella By Starlight
  8. Cherokee

This disc is one of my favorite Tal Farlow CDs. I do have a few other Verve Masters Series volumes. Some are programmed inconsistently (The Wes Montgomery one is an example), but this one shows a high level of respect and knowledge of the artist's body of work.

Norman Granz, the producer who first recorded Tal, produced the tracks on this compilation. The excellent notes were written by Steve Rochinski. Players on this disc include Red Mitchell, Ray Brown, Chico Hamilton, Barry Galbraith, Oscar Pettiford, Joe Morello and Jimmy Campbell. Quite an impressive lineup. The disc reflects a high level of musicianship and scholarship, making it a great listen and valuable learning tool.

The tunes were recorded from 1954 to 1958 right at the height of Tal's early period. His playing is full of fire and technique, although one can hear a quality of youth and freshness as well. Some tunes, like Autumn Leaves and Stella by Starlight, are carried off at a medium up swing tempo, while others (Isn't It Romantic?) reflect the gentle dance band feeling of the times. Cherokee thunders along at nearly 400bpm, taking the crown as the fastest ever recorded tempo of the tune.

This is the best single record of Tal's playing during his Verve period. Although his sound matured some in later years, this is still a satisfying listening experience and great introduction to his style.

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