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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jim Hall by Jim Douglas

To my mind Jim Hall was the gentle giant of jazz guitar.  His tone was quiet and soft and lulled you into the false belief that he wasn’t really doing very much until you tried to copy his runs, licks and chording. It was then you realised that this was no ordinary player and any complacency on your part was immediately replaced by feelings of inadequacy and awe.  From his insistent rhythmic accompaniment with Jimmy Giuffre and Bob Brookmeyer, his exciting duets with Jimmy Raney and his superb album with the wonderful Carl Perkins on piano, to his tasteful solo performances, Hall has left an unequalled legacy of excellence. My particular favourite performances are his solo on “Deep in a Dream” on the aforementioned album and his playing throughout “In the Wee Small Hours” with Gerry Mulligan. I caught him once in London and came away spellbound and inspired in the same way I would have been if he had been Django Reinhardt or Charlie Christian. High praise indeed but totally deserved.  The news of his death has shocked and saddened me immeasurably.
Jim Douglas 10/12/2013.

1 comment :

Lance said...

That Mulligan album "Night Lights" from which "Wee Small Hours" comes from is something else. Mulligan, Farmer, Brookmeyer, Bill Crow, Dave Bailey - and of course Jim Hall. I like Jim's solo on "Festive Minor".

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