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Magic Meeting

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Album Review

Jim Hall has continued to explore new possibilities as a performer and composer late in his career, refusing to coast on his past successes. This live CD was recorded over a series of several nights at the Village Vanguard in the spring of 2004, with longtime collaborators Scott Colley on bass and drummer Lewis Nash (though they have never recorded as a trio). The leader contributed three originals, including the adventurous opener "Bent Blue," "Canto Neruda" (post-bop with a Mexican-like vamp by Hall) which showcases Colley to good effect, along with "Furnished Flats," a seemingly loping theme that is full of sudden twists. Hall conducts a virtual master class for would-be guitarists with his spacious interpretation of the standard "Skylark," suggesting just a hint of Latin flavor. It is little challenge for the veteran guitarist to find new possibilities within a venerable standard like "Body and Soul," while "St. Thomas," the traditional calypso made famous by Sonny Rollins, features a marvelous opening duet by Hall and Nash, before Colley joins the fun as the trio strays far from its original theme, though the leader adds a humorous surprise quote from "I've Been Working on the Railroad." The Village Vanguard audience and staff seem intent on not letting out a peep (though they do applaud some solos) as they obviously realize they are witnessing jazz history in the making; the engineering is flawless. Issued exclusively as a limited edition available through, this CD is somewhat pricey but well-worth the investment.


Born: December 04, 1930 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A harmonically advanced cool-toned and subtle guitarist, Jim Hall was an inspiration to many guitarists, including some (such as Bill Frisell) who sound nothing like him. Hall attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and studied classical guitar in Los Angeles with Vicente Gómez. He was an original member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet (1955-1956), and during 1956-1959 was with the Jimmy Giuffre Three. After touring with Ella Fitzgerald (1960-1961) and sometimes forming duos with Lee Konitz, Hall...
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