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  • Jack E. Whitaker wrote on June 17, 2011 report

    Just saw the Jim Hall Quartet in Rochester NY at their Xerox International Jazz Festival. I also saw a group called the Colin Cannon Quartet on the same night...the festival motto is "It's not just who you know, it's also who you don't know." True in this case.
    It was such a treat watching Jim Hall, a great master at work, being able to see one of the first innovators of modern jazz guitar up close and personal. And he played so well, reminding a packed audience of just how much he has contributed to the music world. His melodic runs and beautiful harmonies are still ringing in my ears as I write this. Hall's was an amazing performance from a genius who has provided more than fifty years of fantastic music to the jazz world.
    Next, I ran over to the festival's new Fusion Tent to catch a young group that I'd heard some buzz about. Turned out to be a good call. The Colin Cannon Quartet were the perfect compliment to Jim Hall; with Hall representing the beginning of modern jazz guitar, and Cannon representing its future - edgy, disciplined, imaginative, intelligent and technically amazing. According to his bio, Cannon trained at Berklee College under Mick Goodrick. I'm sure he must have studied the masters there including Jim Hall; and kudos go to both Berklee and to Cannon for knowing how to use that training to thrust the genre forward to new heights. Cannon's bold, smart compositions were enthusiastically applauded by a packed audience of all ages who were rewarded with an encore by the band after a standing ovation. The quartet featured other talented Berklee grads on keyboard, bass and drums - each showing mastery of their instruments. Keep an eye on these guys, masters in the making.