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Live At Town Hall: Volumes 1 & 2

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Album Review

The first of two volumes of music recorded at a 1990 Town Hall concert features Jim Hall in a number of different contexts. First, there are a pair of duets with old friend and frequent musical partner Ron Carter, with whom he recorded duos on more than one occasion; the chemistry is still very much alive between them. Bob Brookmeyer, a brilliant valve trombonist and musician who also previously recorded with Hall in Jimmy Giuffre's trio and other contexts, suggested segueing directly from "Skylark" into "Begin the Beguine," both of which are stimulating performances full of surprises. The sonorous baritone sax of Gerry Mulligan also meshes well with the guitarist, heard in moving interpretations of "All the Things You Are" and "Prelude to a Kiss." To wrap volume one, a string quartet is added for the last three pieces, along with a rhythm section (pianist Don Thompson, bassist Steve LaSpina, and drummer Terry Clarke) on the first two selections. Hall's "1953" (also known as "Thesis") is a Third Stream piece written while he was studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music; this concert performance marks its first playing. Thompson composed the tense "Abstract & Dreams," which was inspired by their work together in a Canadian club back in the '70s. Finally, the rhythm section is replaced by vibraphonist Gary Burton for Tommy Kamp's arrangement of Astor Piazolla's moving "Laura"s Dream." Beautifully recorded and mixed with an attentive, hushed audience, this live CD should be considered an essential part of Jim Hall's vast discography.


Born: 04 December 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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