Jim Hall was a true aesthete of the jazz guitar and played with the likes of Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans, but the American virtuoso was far from flamboyant. He was a humble artist with just the six strings of his guitar as his medium.

Five years ago, one of the greatest guitarists of his era disappeared with the same discretion that he was so well known for. On December 10th, 2013, Jim Hall passed away in his apartment in Greenwich Village, New York. The value of silence and space were indeed integral to him, his music, and his guitar playing. The guitar is an instrument that produces virtuosos who have the audience on the edge of their seat with supersonic solos. These pyro-technicians are, of course, brilliant, but tend to add notes rather than remove them. Jim Hall was the exact opposite. When he first appeared on the Jazz scene in the late 1950’s, the guitar was far from being the most popular or most played instrument. Apart from Django Reinhardt, the stars were the saxophonists, trumpeters, pianists or singers, rarely the guitarists. The guitar was all about rhythm, take Johnny St. Cyr in Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives or Freddie Green in Count Basie's big band. It was later that the instrument became more and more fashionable and appealing thanks to the likes of Barney KesselHerb Ellis and Tal Farlow.