Jim Hall: Jim Hall & Basses
The play list has ten originals composed by the participants and three standards. Given the nature of the instruments, much of the session can be classified as chamber jazz, with a lived in feeling, especially on the "Abstract" quartet. Brightness breaks through on "Bent Blue" where Hall goes electric, but not so loud that one misses McBride's happy, bouncing bass. Hall plays rhythm while Charlie Haden wanders around the melody line on "Don't Explain" then turns up the amps as he and Haden reverse rolls. Colley's approach to "Besame Mucho" is to allow a lot of breathing space creating a contrast with Hall's medium tempo pace.
The virtuosity present on this album is so great as to be awesome. But as mesmerizing as it is, from time to time one wishes that there were a little more instrumental variety present, such as a piano or a horn. But one can't get greedy and must take genius where one finds it. Recommended, of course.
Track Listing: Jim Hall - Guitar on all cuts. End the Beguine with Dave Holland; Bent Blue with Christian McBride; Abstract 1 with Charlie Haden; All the Things You Are with George Mraz; Abstract 2 with Scott Colley/George Mraz; Sam Jones with Dave Holland; Don't Explain with Charlie Haden; Dog Walk with Christian McBride; Abstract 3 with Scott Colley/George Mraz; Besame Mucho with Scott Colley; Dream Steps with Scott Colley; Abstract 4 with Scott Colley; Tango Loco with Scott Colley/George Mraz
Record Label: Telarc Records