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Jazz - Released April 1, 1975 | Masterworks Jazz

Guitarist Jim Hall is the sort of musician who displays such technical expertise, imaginative conception, and elegance of line and phrase that almost any recording of his is worth hearing. Still, Concierto ranks among the best albums of his superb catalog. For starters, the personnel here is a jazz lover's dream come true. Paul Desmond (saxophone), Chet Baker (trumpet), Roland Hanna (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Steve Gadd (drums) are on board, creating -- along with Hall -- one of the highest profile lineups ever put to tape. Yet Concierto is not about star power and showboating. As subtle, nuanced, and considered as any of Hall's output, the ensemble playing here demonstrates great group sensitivity and interplay, giving precedence to mood and atmosphere over powerhouse soloing. Conductor and arranger Don Sebesky evinces a chamber ambience from the sextet on "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," the smoky "The Answer Is Yes," and the Hall centerpiece "Concierto de Aranjuez." © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1973 | Milestone

Long considered a classic and a revelation to listeners who had taken guitarist Jim Hall for granted, this set of duets with bassist Ron Carter (reissued on CD) has near-telepathic communication between the two musicians and quiet music full of inner tension and fire. Hall and Carter brought in an original apiece and also collaborated on six standards, including "St. Thomas," "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," "Autumn Leaves," and "Alone Together." Introspective and thought-provoking music. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Jim Hall recorded this trio session with expatriate bassist Jimmy Woode and one of Europe's top drummers, Daniel Humair, during a 1969 visit to Berlin. At first "Up, Up and Away," a Jimmy Webb composition that turned into a huge hit for the pop group the Fifth Dimension, might seem like an unlikely jazz vehicle, but it soars to new heights with the trio's inventive approach. Familiar standards include a snappy "My Funny Valentine" and an intensely lyrical "Body and Soul.' Producer Joachim Berendt's suggestion to Hall that he duet with himself via overdubbing resulted in "Young One, For Debra," a warm ballad tribute to Hall's daughter, and a breath taking rendition of "In a Sentimental Mood." He also revisits his "Romaine," utilizing a bossa nova setting (recorded previously with pianist Bill Evans on their classic duo date Undercurrent) and explores his wife's upbeat composition "It's Nice to Be with You" (a work that should have lyrics if it doesn't already). Only briefly available as a CD reissue of the earlier LP, this collectible release is well worth acquiring. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 22, 1957 | Pacific Jazz

Jim Hall's debut as a leader has a somewhat tortured history. The original LP had ten tracks, though producer Richard Bock edited six of them for a later pressing and also inexplicably overdubbed Larry Bunker's drums (he wasn't originally present) on a third pressing. Over time the complete versions of the six edited tunes were lost or discarded, and the master of "This Is New" suffered the same fate. By the time of this 1988 reissue, none of the missing material could be located, although "Too Close for Comfort" and a longer alternate take of "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," both of which had been issued on separate Pacific Jazz anthologies but not on the original LP or subsequent reissues, were added to the CD, which has long since lapsed from print as well. The music deserved a better fate. Jim Hall grew into one of the most respected guitarists in jazz, and his original concept was damaged by Bock's senseless tinkering, since it was the solos of bassist Red Mitchell and pianist Carl Perkins (whose discography is already limited enough due to his premature death) that shortened or removed by the original producer. Nevertheless, what remains is still a valuable introduction to the long, successful career of Jim Hall. The music sticks to familiar standards from the swing era and is often low key, much like the man himself. A waltzing "Thanks for the Memory" is a fine example of Hall's lyricism, while other unedited songs, like the lively "9:20 Special," gives us a glimpse of what the overall album sound might have been like. The original LP will continue to command high prices in jazz auctions, but this CD will also command a premium unless it is eventually reissued, even in its shortened form. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Bebop - Released March 20, 1999 | Storyville Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1975 | A&M

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Jazz - Released February 2, 2018 | nagel heyer records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Concord Records

The double-disc anthology Hallmarks: The Best of Jim Hall collects a nice cross section of material that jazz guitarist Jim Hall recorded for the Concord and Telarc labels from the early '70s onward. Here listeners find the often cerebral but never boring Hall making his unique brand of jazz that finds room for expansive post-bop improvisation as well as Latin rhythms, gorgeous harmonies, and beautiful melodies. Included here are not only such memorable standards as "Autumn Leaves" and "Alone Together," but also such superb Hall originals as the energetic "Simple Samba," the poignant "João," and the organically atmospheric "Snowbound." This is reflective, intricately composed and executed music that is truly the hallmark of sophisticated modern jazz. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Jim Hall's debut as a leader has a somewhat tortured history. The original LP had ten tracks, though producer Richard Bock edited six of them for a later pressing and also inexplicably overdubbed Larry Bunker's drums (he wasn't originally present) on a third pressing. Over time the complete versions of the six edited tunes were lost or discarded, and the master of "This Is New" suffered the same fate. By the time of this 1988 reissue, none of the missing material could be located, although "Too Close for Comfort" and a longer alternate take of "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," both of which had been issued on separate Pacific Jazz anthologies but not on the original LP or subsequent reissues, were added to the CD, which has long since lapsed from print as well. The music deserved a better fate. Jim Hall grew into one of the most respected guitarists in jazz, and his original concept was damaged by Bock's senseless tinkering, since it was the solos of bassist Red Mitchell and pianist Carl Perkins (whose discography is already limited enough due to his premature death) that shortened or removed by the original producer. Nevertheless, what remains is still a valuable introduction to the long, successful career of Jim Hall. The music sticks to familiar standards from the swing era and is often low key, much like the man himself. A waltzing "Thanks for the Memory" is a fine example of Hall's lyricism, while other unedited songs, like the lively "9:20 Special," gives us a glimpse of what the overall album sound might have been like. The original LP will continue to command high prices in jazz auctions, but this CD will also command a premium unless it is eventually reissued, even in its shortened form. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1976 | A&M

There is lots of variety on this CD reissue, which features guitarist Jim Hall in several different settings. He has separate duets with pianist Don Thompson (Hoagy Carmichael's delightful "One Morning In May"), his wife Jane Hall (who sings "When I Fall In Love"), pianist Tommy Flanagan, and drummer Terry Clarke. He also overdubs acoustic and electric guitars on his solo "Down the Line," teams up with pianist Flanagan and flugelhornist Art Farmer on two duets, and uses a slightly larger group on "Lament for a Fallen Matador," a Don Sebesky adaptation of a classical piece that has the haunting voice of Joan LaBarbara. Overall, there is plenty of intriguing music on this recommended set. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 2, 1993 | MusicMasters

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1971 | Milestone Records

Although the rhythm section was more "modern" than he usually used (keyboardist Benny Aronov, bassist Malcolm Cecil, and Airto Moreira on drums and percussion), guitarist Jim Hall (who always had a harmonically advanced style anyway) has little difficulty adapting to the fresh setting. Highlights of the well-rounded CD reissue include Hall's "Simple Samba," "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," an unaccompanied "I Should Care," and Milton Nascimento's "Vera Cruz." © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | MusicMasters

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Telarc

Guitarist Jim Hall has long been one of the most open-minded of the important stylists to emerge during the 1950s, and his harmonically advanced style remains quite modern while hinting at its foundations in bop. For this Telarc CD, Hall teams up with five major players on two numbers apiece: Guitarists Bill Frisell and Mike Stern, Joe Lovano on tenor, flugelhornist Tom Harrell, and Gil Goldstein on accordion. Bassist Scott Colley and drummer Andy Watson are on the Frisell and Lovano tracks, and part of the Harrell and Stern performances. All of the compositions but "Skylark" are Hall originals and, although they are usually a bit dry, there are some exceptions: "Uncle Ed" and "Frisell Frazzle" are a little nutty. The emphasis throughout is on interplay between the lead voices and advanced improvising. Despite his strong sidemen (Stern and Harrell fare best), Jim Hall ends up as the dominant voice on virtually every selection, making this a set his fans will enjoy. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 23, 2020 | Chameleon Archive

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | MusicMasters

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Telarc

Jim Hall's previous two Telarcs, Dialogues and Textures, were so adventurous and out-of-perceived-character that this compendium of small-group live dates at the Village Vanguard might seem like a step backwards at a superficial glance. But there is enterprise here too, as the cool, mellow-toned Hall grafts a revolving door full of guest soloists onto his rhythm section (Scott Colley, bass; Terry Clarke, drums), each one of whom offers a different slant on what jazz ought to be. Among the pianists, Kenny Barron's response to the challenge is straight-ahead bebop on "The Answer Is Yes" and a graceful duet with Hall on "Something to Wish For," while Geoff Keezer takes a more contemporary two-fisted approach. Trombonist Slide Hampton inspires a looser feeling in the rhythm section at a relaxed tempo on "Entre Nous" and some loosey-goosey swing on "No You Don't!," but trumpeter Art Farmer sounds rather limp in "Little Blues." The free-minded alto of Greg Osby is the man most capable of pushing Hall a bit outside of his usual game, as well as provoking the bass and drums, on "Furnished Flats" and "Painted Pig." One can only imagine the fascination of the habitually superattentive patrons of the Vanguard at all of this diversity. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Telarc

Long acclaimed for his understated lyrical approach to the guitar, Jim Hall's diverse arrangements on this CD are also first-class. His dazzling arrangement of John Lewis' "Django" features Hall with Pat Metheny, with both men on acoustic instruments for a change, accompanied only by drummer Terry Clarke and the occasional pizzicato accents of a 12-piece string section (violas and cellos!). Rarely has Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" been given such a fresh treatment; the brisk bossa nova rhythm, Joe Lovano's switch from clarinet to soprano sax midway in the piece, and Hall's interplay with Lovano and the strings, plus the dramatic sudden slowdown in tempo at the conclusion, make it stand out from the many recordings of this standard. The New York Voices provide a nice backdrop for Hall's solo on "Waltz for Debby," while Paul Desmond's rarely heard "Wendy" features the leader with the brilliant flugelhornist Tom Harrell, backed by a brass section. Hall's originals also merit praise: his lovely "October Song" has just a touch of melancholy with a fine viola solo backed by the strings following his solo introduction, while his challenging "Art Song" is a playful waltz. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released March 20, 1999 | Storyville

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Jazz - Released August 11, 2021 | Baseline Jazz