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Jim Hall / Geoffrey Keezer: Free Association

Dan McClenaghan By

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Free Association, the latest ArtistShare release from veteran guitarist Jim Hall—paired with a relative newcomer, pianist Geoffrey Keezer—offers music in a pure state. The duo creates a timeless, genre-less sound, a combination of virtuosic beauty and fluid give-and-take combined with a deft use of space.

Jim Hall has collaborated on records with drummer Chico Hamilton, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, all legends. A legend himself now, the guitarist has also explored the duo setting with Bill Evans and George Shearing, and most recently with Enrico Pieranzuni on Duologues.

Much is made of of the sympatico generated by "working groups," a product of the familiarity that breeds a seamless flow. Though the working group title may not apply to Hall and Keezer, they have played together extensively, in recordings and engagements at the Village Vanguard and Birdland. Keezer also joined Hall for a European quartet tour last summer.

Like fully engaged and adroit conversationalists, Hall and Keezer listen and respond to each other, making a luminous sound that seems to transcend style and—especially in Hall's case—his instrument. Lost in the purity of the music, the piquant notes, and shimmering chords, one can lose track of the fact that it's a guitar coming at you from the speakers.

It's all a vibration of strings, electric and accoustic—the sweet percussive ring of Keezer's piano versus the sustain and expansive tang of Hall's guitar—done with an innovative, free-flowing eloquence.

Free Association is available only from Jim Hall on the web.

Track Listing: End the Beguine; Bibo No Aozoa; A Merry Chase; Free Association; Furnished Flats (live); Counter Transference; Ouagadoudou; October Song.

Personnel: Jim Hall: guitars; Geoffrey Keezer: piano.

Title: Free Association | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: ArtistShare

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