Recorded during his most recent tour, Magic Meeting
is an excellent testament to the width and breadth of virtuoso guitarist Jim Hall's talents. Playing with long time associates Scott Colley (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums), Hall breathes fresh life into standards and contributes three originals to this intriguing set of understated and discreet guitar playing.
Reflective and spacious on "Body and Soul," Hall strums, picks, and selects his notes with the precision of a diamond cutter. Always holding the listener's interest, even during the most delicate moments, he changes tempos and rhythms as if he were traversing a mountain range, ascending and descending the pace at a leisurely clip. On "Skylark," Hall brings out all of the yearnings and pleadings that the lyrics deserve. There are no superficial glib notes during these performances.
Hall's original's tend to be more abstract and challenging. "Furnished Flats" is complete with unexpected twists and turns; "Bent Blue" is edgy and tensile; and "Blackwell's Message," with mysterious and deft accompaniment by Nash, is moody and evocative. All pieces require deep concentration to fully appreciate the interplay between these kindred spirits.
Tuning his guitar like a steel drum, Hall closes with a rollicking reading of "St. Thomas." After listening to this excellent disc, it's easy to remember why Jim Hall is the most influential jazz guitarist of our time.
Personnel: Jim Hall: guitar; Lewis Nash: drums; Scott Colley: bass.