How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Jim Hall was a sideman on countless sessions with jazz notablesSonny Rollins and Bill Evans to name but twoyet his work as a leader remains largely unreissued. This makes the reappearance of this 1976 live recording a real treat for jazz guitar fans, for whom Hall is one of the greatest and most imitated legends.
Hall always approached performance with a strong sense of composition and melody and, with the sparse backing of bass and drums, his talents come to the forefront, whether it be on an plaintive treatment of “’Round Midnight” or a scurrying “Scrapple From the Apple.” Throughout Hall displays a wealth of gripping single note work interspersed with glistening chords. He is a subtle guitarist turn this CD up at full volume and it will still sound quiet yet has aligned himself with sidemen who allow him a high degree of interaction and nuance. Don Thompson is a nimble bassist with a full tone who gets a wealth of solo time; Terry Clarke contributes sensitive drumming behind. With only five tunes, the trio has plenty of opportunity to stretch out into some wonderful improvisation and create first-rate live jazz. A treat for all fans of Jim Hall.