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Jim Hall: Live, Now and Then

Bob Kenselaar By

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Beyond improvisation, composing and arranging have long been an important side of Hall's work. It's true that Jim Hall Live! and Live, Vol. 2-4 focus largely on standards, but since the mid-'70s, Hall has increasingly featured his own original compositions on his recordings. And while he's had enormous artistic success working in duo and trio contexts, he has ventured into projects with mid-sized and larger ensembles, using varied instrumentation that displays his great capacities as an arranger. Two recordings from the late 1990s exemplify this in particular: Textures (Telarc, 1997) and By Arrangement (Telarc, 1998), which incorporate string and brass sections and feature guest appearances by the New York Voices, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Greg Osby and others.

Hall has displayed his artistry in a variety of contexts with a variety of collaborators in live performance also, and he continues to do so. He performs in trios with Joey Baron and Scott Colley or Steve LaSpina and Johnathan Blake; in duos with a bassist or with Geoffrey Keezer on piano; or in quartets that add in Greg Osby or guitarist Julian Lage, in addition to the Grand Slam group. Upcoming engagements for Hall include the Newport Jazz Festival on August 4th, with Colley, Lage and Lewis Nash, and shows that Hall is headlining at the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 22 and 23, with Colley, Baron and special guests John Abercrombie and Peter Bernstein.

Still, composing is a major day-to-day focus for Hall. "I'm hoping to keep writing a bit every day and see what happens. I try to sort of push forward all the time. I have music paper and pencils on my desk here to keep moving, and that's really my basis of performing and being alive."

Selected Discography

Jim Hall, Jim Hall Live, Vol. 2-4 (ArtistShare, 2012)
Jim Hall Quartet, Live at Birdland (ArtistShare, 2012)
Jim Hall & Joey Baron, Conversations (ArtistShare, 2010)
Jim Hall & Bill Frisell, Hemispheres (ArtistShare, 2008)
Jim Hall/Geoffrey Keezer, Free Association (ArtistShare, 2005)
Jim Hall/Enrico Pieranunzi, Duologues (Cam Jazz, 2005)
Jim Hall, Magic Meeting (ArtistShare, 2005)
Jim Hall, Jim Hall & Basses (Telarc, 2001)
Jim Hall, Joe Lovano, George Mraz, Lewis Nash, Grand Slam (Telarc, 2000)
Jim Hall & Pat Metheny, Jim Hall & Pat Metheny (Telarc, 1999)
Jim Hall, By Arrangement (Telarc, 1998)
Jim Hall, Textures (Telarc, 1997)
Jim Hall, Dialogues (Telarc, 1995)
Jim Hall and Friends, Live at Town Hall, Vol. 1 (Musicmasters, 1990)
Jim Hall Quartet, All Across the City (Concord, 1989)
Jim Hall, Jim Hall Live! (Verve, 1975)
Jim Hall, Concierto (CTI, 1975)
Jim Hall/Ron Carter Duo, Alone Together (Milestone, 1972)
Bill Evans/Jim Hall, Intermodulation (Verve, 1966)
Bill Evans/Jim Hall, Undercurrent (Verve, 1963)
Sonny Rollins, The Bridge (RCA, 1962)

Photo Credits
Page 1: Tom Beetz
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