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    Hall, Jim (4th December 1930-10th December 2013)

    He was a guitarist, arranger and composer born James Stanley Hall in Buffalo, New York, to a musical family.  His family moved to Ohio while he was young and there he learnt to play the guitar which was given to him as a Christmas present when he was ten years old.

     

    By the time he was a teenager he had started to take an interest in the double bass and was already giving professional performances in Ohio. 

     

    When he was 15 he entered the Cleveland Institute of Music where he too studies in bass, piano and theory.  He then moved to Los Angeles a year later where he studied classical guitar and from 1955 to 1956 performed as a member of Chico Hamilton’s quintet which is where his name began to become known.

     

    He became a member of the Jimmy Giuffre Three where he could incorporate some of his improvisations and arrangements and in 1959 he became a teacher at the Lenox School of Jazz.

     

    From around 1959 he was sought after to work with many artists and ensembles including Jazz at the Philharmonic, who he toured with.  He had relocated to New York by 1960.

     

    He was the leader of a trio in 1965 with Ron Carter and Tommy Flanagan and they were joined by Red Mitchell in 1965.  He also became a member of the house band for The Merv Griffin Show.

     

    In 1975 he released the album Jim Hall Live! and also went into the studio to record with Itzhak Perlman and George Shearing. 

     

    He continued to work and perform throughout the 1980s and collaborated with Ron Carter until 1985.  In 1986 he was a guest soloist with Wayne Shorter and Michel Petrucciani’s Trio.

     

    During the 1990s he carried on touring and recording on a national and international basis and in  1990 he was a host for the JVC Jazz Festival in New York.   He went on to perform in concerts as a duo with Pat Metheny. In 1993 the video Master Sessions with Jim Hall was released, in 1994 he issued a solo album and in 1996 he led a quartet in Europe.   

     

    As a composer he was presented with the New York Jazz Critics Award for Best Jazz Composer/Arranger in 1997 and he also won the Jazzpar Prize in Denmark when his Quartet Plus Four was debuted there by the Zapolsi String Quartet. He was commissioned by Towson University in Maryland for a concerto for guitar and orchestra which was debuted by the Baltimore Symphony in 2004.

     

    In the mid-2000s he joined the recording label ArtistShare which is fan-funded and released the track “Magic Meeting” in 2005.  Three years later in 2008 the label released the double album Hemispheres.

     

    In 2010 he recorded an album with Joey Baron and even when he was in his 80s he continued to appear at national and international jazz festivals and perform gigs in New York City.

     

    During his career Jim worked with numerous artists and ensembles with just a few of them including Nat Adderley, Chet Baker, Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Carryer Trio, Buddy Collette, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, Herb Ellis, Chico Hamilton, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Lee Konitz, Jacob Michael, Modest Jazz Trio, Cleo Laine, Oliver Nelson, Anita O’Day, Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Toots Thielemans and Big Joe Turner.

     

    As you can imagine, his recordings output is massive with nearly 40 albums which are either solo or ones where he was the leader.  Some of these are All Across the City, Alone Together, Big Blues, Concierto, Jazz Guitar, Jim Hall’s Three, Something Special, Subsequently and Textures.  Other albums which he has performed on include Jazz Goes to the Movies by Manny Albam, More Songs from the Heart by Tony Bennett, Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles by Ray Charles, 1969: All-Star White House Tribute by Duke Ellington, Intermodulation by Bill Evans, Interaction by Art Farmer, Fiedler & Friends by Arthur Fiedler, Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife by Ella Fitzgerald, The Bossa Nova Albums by Stan Getz, The Hits of Joao Gilberto by Joao Gilberto, Jazz Casual by Dizzy Gillespie, Late Night Jazz Favorites by Herbie Hancock, Woody’s Goodies (1945-1947) by Woody Herman, Four by Four by Billie Holliday, Summer in the City by Quincy Jones, Music of Bill Evans by the Kronos Quartet, Complete at Newport 1958 by Gerry Mulligan, A Man and His Music by Claus Ogerman, The Many Moods of Roy Orbison/The Big O by Roy Orbison, After the Lights Go Down Low and Much More!! by Freda Payne, A Different Kind of Blues; It’s a Breeze by Andre Previn, Piano, Strings and Bossa Nova by Lalo Schifrin, Centennial Celebration by Art Tatum and The Very Best of Jazz by Sarah Vaughan.

     

    In December 2013 he passed away in his sleep at his home in Manhattan, New York.  He was 83 years old.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jimhallmusic.com/about.aspx
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Hall_(musician)
    3. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jim-hall-mn0000286483
    4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/8c12559e-ddcf-472a-8a8c-0f0c3fc91c6a
    5. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jim-hall-mn0000286483/credits

     

     

     

     

     

     



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