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This is the first time that Jim Hall, Scott Colley, and Lewis Nash have played together, but their Magic Meeting has a sheer magnetism that draws them into an orbit that spins around some compelling musicianship. Time has not effaced the spell that Hall can conjure on the guitar, and he does his magic once again. Colley and Nash are as spellbinding on this live recording at the Village Vanguard.
Most of the tunes are excursions in calm. It is into this atmosphere that the trio brings textures that dye deep and resplendently. Out of that deliberate impact rises music that snares and envelops the senses.
Hall plays with gentle expression, his notes open and loquacious. Yet, in an instant, he can scurry and flatten a note to bring in neat tangents. He evokes pith and sensibility on "Body and Soul" as the music floats and falls softly. Nash adds the brushes stoking the gentility. And as the song is unveiled over eleven minutes, its evolution is shaped by Hall's emphatic chords, a melodically injected solo from Colley and a short shift in tempo that gives it a lilt that sits in compactly. One cannot help but be snappy and happy when getting into "St. Thomas," and the three do just that, swaying and undulating on the calypso tune with an interjection of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." The innate beauty and sparkle in this eloquent take on "Skylark" puts the stamp on not only the artistry of Hall but also the craftmanship of the band.
Track Listing: Bent Blue; Blackwell's Message; Skylark; Canto Neruda; Furnished Flats; Body and Soul; St. Thomas
Personnel: Jim Hall: guitar; Scott Colley: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.