During a recent stay in Paris I trawled Gibert & Joseph’s jazz section for jazz guitar recordings. I didn’t find any interesting ones, but in their DVD section, I found Lorenzo DeStefano’s 1981 documentary, Tal Farlow. It sells on American Amazon for around 18 USD. At 20 Euros it is somewhat more expensive in Europe.
There is, of course, plenty of music in the film, including rehearsals with Lenny Breau, Tommy Flanagan and Red Mitchell, and concert footage with the same personnel. There is also extra footage of Tal jamming with Breau. However, the film is as much a story about Farlow’s contemplative approach to life as it is about his music. Farlow is calm, modest, and warm, but also in his own way extremely ambitious. His wife, Tina, recalls how Tal would occassionally become “despondent,” claiming that he hadn’t accomplished anything in life. So, being the World’s perhaps best bebop jazz guitarist isn’t an accomplishment?