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461 Broome St
New York, NY, 10013
United States


The Tal Farlow Collection


Here is a unique opportunity for guitar collectors and fans of the legendary jazz guitarist Tal Farlow. The first and only display of Tal’s noted Gibson guitars may be seen and purchased exclusively at Rudy’s Music SoHo (461 Broome Street) The exhibition will take place during business hours (10:30am - 7:00pm) from April 24th through April 29th, 2017

Farlow, one of the best known and beloved jazz guitarists, died at the age of 77 in 1998. His widow has decided to part with the seven guitars in Tal’s important Gibson collection.

The jazz great was renowned for his signature rapid-fire style of sliding up and down the fret board, earning him the nickname, “Octopus.”  In his early collaboration with Red Norvo’s trio, which also included a young Charles Mingus, he showcased his harmonics using his picking hand to pluck notes.

Among the guitars is the 1939 Gibson ES-250 used on several early recordings. Also featured is Tal’s 1962 Prototype for his signature model, which he used on scores of recordings and live performances throughout his career.

The flashiest guitar in the Tal Farlow collection may be the ES-140 3/4 size laminated maple top with a day-glow red, an instrument conceived exclusively for television. When the Red Norvo trio was slated to appear on the Mel Torme variety show on CBS, at a time in the early 1950s when the nascent medium was transitioning from black and white to broadcasting in color, the show producer insisted that Tal’s Gibson be painted an eye-catching bright red to take advantage of the innovative new color format. But Tal argued you couldn’t paint such a delicate instrument --- and because of his long association with Gibson, he wouldn’t play anything else on the show. The problem was solved when the producer called the guitar maker and it agreed to design something special for the occasion. Thus, the flashy, bright red Gibson guitar made its historic TV debut.