Joe Farrell was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, United States.
In the 1960s, Farrell played with The Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra. He also recorded with Charles Mingus, Andrew Hill, Jaki Byard, Players Association and Elvin Jones.
With the group Fuse One, he released two albums in 1980 and 1982. He also can be heard on the pop recordings of Hall & Oates playing oboe and soprano saxophone.
Farrell performs with Brazilian percussionist Airto and Airto's wife Flora Purim on the album "Three-Way Mirror." A message on the CD jacket dedicates the 1987 album to Farrell and states it contains his final recordings.
Farrell died of bone cancer in Los Angeles, California on January 10, 1986 at the age of 48. This interview was recorded in 1984.
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