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  1. #1

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    Yesterday was Jim Hall's birthday. He would have been 90-years-old. It gave me a good reason to do a bit of Jim Hall-a-thon as I grade end of the semester papers. I keep discovering his own recordings as well as duet/ensemble albums he played on. My newest find that I've had on loop is, It's Nice to be With You: Live in Berlin with Jimmy Woode & Daniel Humair. Somehow, this one escaped my notice until now. The title track is especially beautiful.

    So, what's your favorite Jim Hall record - either as the headline artist or part of an ensemble?

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  3. #2

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    the one that really began the change as far as jim's ensemble playing

    the jimmy giuffre 3...debut album...a classic!



    cheers

  4. #3

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    Undercurrent with Bill Evans.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    the one that really began the change as far as jim's ensemble playing

    the jimmy giuffre 3...debut album...a classic!



    cheers
    He always spoke with such reverence and appreciation for Giuffre.

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    The album that initially got me hooked on Jim Hall was the Paul Desmond album "Easy Living".
    I think Jim was a musician/artist first, and a guitarist second.
    When I listen to his playing I don't usually think "what a cool guitar line, how did he play that", I usually just love the pure musicality of it.

  8. #7

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  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzmanstever
    The album that initially got me hooked on Jim Hall was the Paul Desmond album "Easy Living".
    I think Jim was a musician/artist first, and a guitarist second.
    When I listen to his playing I don't usually think "what a cool guitar line, how did he play that", I usually just love the pure musicality of it.
    I agree 100%!

  10. #9
    So hard to choose! The one that really made me sit up and notice was “Power of Three” with Michel Petrucciani and Wayne Shorter. I distinctly remember the moment I heard “Bimini” as a teenager (sitting in a car in a parking lot) and how baffled/impressed by his rhythmic compositional sense especially in the entirely strummed solo! It was in complete contrast with the high-speed single line stuff that I was hearing from other jazz guitarists.

    However, I agree with Neatomic, the first Giuffre 3 album marks a really special change in his ensemble playing that to me serves as a distinct reason why I love his playing so much! Chamber music to the highest degree!

  11. #10

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    My favorite is "Jazz Impressions of Japan". If you have not heard it put on your seat belts. Jim and his trio are on fire on the first side of the lp:
    Last edited by curbucci; 12-05-2020 at 11:50 PM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by curbucci
    My favorite is "Jazz Impressions of Japan". If you have not heard it put on your seatbelts. Jim and his trio are on fire on the first side of the lp:
    Another one I've never listened to...Thanks much!

  13. #12

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    I gotta go with the one he signed for me one night at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. "Thank you! Joy & Peace" he said.

    Legend.

    Happy Birthday Jim Hall - So What's Your Favorite JH Album?-jim-hall-signed-lp-png

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    Yesterday was Jim Hall's birthday. He would have been 90-years-old. It gave me a good reason to do a bit of Jim Hall-a-thon as I grade end of the semester papers. I keep discovering his own recordings as well as duet/ensemble albums he played on. My newest find that I've had on loop is, It's Nice to be With You: Live in Berlin with Jimmy Woode & Daniel Humair. Somehow, this one escaped my notice until now. The title track is especially beautiful.

    So, what's your favorite Jim Hall record - either as the headline artist or part of an ensemble?
    My favorite Jim Hall album is my favorite jazz album.

    More accurately, it's a Paul Desmond album, called Glad to Be Unhappy. Subtitle iirc was Torch Songs Sung By Sax.

    The guitar work is stunning. It is a masterclass in comping.

    I haven't heard a lot of the others that people have mentioned, but I got a bunch of albums that he did with Desmond, Jim Hall live (not my fave) and Concierto De Aranjuez (stunning too).

  15. #14

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    Tough one, any of the Desmond quartet recordings, though I also like his debut as a leader on Pacific Jazz "Jazz Guitar"
    Honorable mention his appearance on Bill Perkins/John Lewis "Grand Encounter 2 Degrees East 3 Degrees West" also on Pacific Jazz


  16. #15

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    Difficult choice! All the albums listed above are lovely. Here's one of my favs, a live NYC outing:


  17. #16

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    "By arrangement" is absolutely LUSH

    Always been my favorite


  18. #17

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    You mean besides "These Rooms" with Tom Harrell? I'm not sure ..


  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    I gotta go with the one he signed for me one night at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. "Thank you! Joy & Peace" he said.

    Legend.

    Happy Birthday Jim Hall - So What's Your Favorite JH Album?-jim-hall-signed-lp-png
    Yep! This one for me too. The entire box set from this week of concerts is equally incredible.

  20. #19

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    Here is my selection: Concierto


  21. #20

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    interesting one from jim...jim hall trio live in tokyo...1976

    when hall had some canandian dates, rather than bringing a nyc rhythm section up with him, he got ed bickerts great duo- bassist Don Thompson & drummer Terry Clarke

    well, not surprisingly, he liked them so much, he wound up later taking them to japan!




    cheers

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbromusic
    Yep! This one for me too. The entire box set from this week of concerts is equally incredible.
    Yes... everything with Don Thompson & Terry Clarke is outstanding. So are the two Duo recordings with Bill Evans and the live Duo recording with Bob Brookmeyer !


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    Last edited by DaShigsta; 12-06-2020 at 08:21 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    interesting one from jim...jim hall trio live in tokyo...1976

    when hall had some canandian dates, rather than bringing a nyc rhythm section up with him, he got ed bickerts great duo- bassist Don Thompson & drummer Terry Clarke

    well, not surprisingly, he liked them so much, he wound up later taking them to japan!




    cheers

    Yes this is another great one!

  24. #23

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    The first Jim Hall album I bought.


  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    I gotta go with the one he signed for me one night at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. "Thank you! Joy & Peace" he said.

    Legend.

    Happy Birthday Jim Hall - So What's Your Favorite JH Album?-jim-hall-signed-lp-png
    This one is my favorite too although I was never fortunate enough to meet him to sign it.

    Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzPadd
    Difficult choice! All the albums listed above are lovely. Here's one of my favs, a live NYC outing:

    Thanks for posting this. I wasn't aware of this album. It sounds great! Recorded in 1959 and sounds incredibly fresh to my ears.

    Jim Hall, Paul Desmond and the MJQ bassist and drummer, Percy Heath and Connie Kay.

  27. #26
    I like the duo track with his wife singing its on one of the above. She was a psychiatrist. Go figure.

  28. #27

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    I like the one with the artist.

    Happy Birthday Jim Hall - So What's Your Favorite JH Album?-jim-hall-jazz-guitar-copy-jpg

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    I like the duo track with his wife singing its on one of the above. She was a psychiatrist. Go figure.
    I read somewhere that his wife’s friends (all academics, professional types etc.) came to dinner once and asked her ‘when is Jim going to get a proper job?’

  30. #29

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    I love so much of his work but my favorite is his work with Sonny Rollins on The Bridge.

  31. #30

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    For me, it's a tie between Concerto and this one.


  32. #31

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    Lots to choose from...I may give a different selection in a day or two.

    Standouts at the moment would be the Jimmy Guiffre album already mentioned - the first time I heard JH was on The Train & The River in 'Jazz On A Summers' Day', he said in several interviews that trying to blend his guitar with Guiffres' horn was a big part of his sound, from his tone, legato playing, use of hammer ons / pull offs, to playing whole phrases horizontally on one string.

    The two albums with Bill Evans, The Bridge & the live duets with Ron Carter, Telephone's my favourite - the cassette of that on a walkman got me through many a night shift...

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I like the one with the artist.

    Happy Birthday Jim Hall - So What's Your Favorite JH Album?-jim-hall-jazz-guitar-copy-jpg
    I like this album and it is on a fairly standard rotation, but in many ways I don't consider it a Jim Hall album; more like 50s style guitar jazz album (which is my favorite period of guitar jazz). Hall hadn't yet fully developed his style of playing that was his own when this album was released.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 12-07-2020 at 02:28 PM.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Here is my selection: Concierto

    Love his tone and that tune!

  35. #34

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    While working at my desk today, I pulled up a Spotify station entitled, This is Jim Hall. It was five hours of a wonderfully curated collection of tunes, many of which came from some of the albums listed above. All of his stuff is so wonderful, but his work with Art Farmer and Bill Evans really rises to the top.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I read somewhere that his wife’s friends (all academics, professional types etc.) came to dinner once and asked her ‘when is Jim going to get a proper job?’
    I read that too, I don't believe he ever did.

  37. #36

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    man, he was a tv star!!! hah



    cheers

  38. #37

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    Durn, Skip, you coulda used the icon!

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I like this album and it is on a fairly standard rotation, but in many ways I don't consider it a Jim Hall album; more like 50s style guitar jazz album (which is my favorite period of guitar jazz). Hall hadn't yet fully developed his style of playing that was his own when this album was released.
    Yes. That's a perfectly of-the-moment 1957 album . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by P.J.
    I love so much of his work but my favorite is his work with Sonny Rollins on The Bridge.
    Yes. That's a perfectly of-the-moment 1962 album . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Yes. That's a perfectly of-the-moment 1989 album (and it's my favorite because "Beja Flor" always makes me melt).

    Point being: Jim Hall didn't turn his back on the past but he never stopped looking to the present. That's an uncommon virtue.

  40. #39

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    This was the first Jim Hall record I got, still like this one a lot.


  41. #40

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    My first one, found in a cutout bin. Still holds a special place in my heart.


  42. #41

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    This is such an interesting thread!

    If someone started a thread saying, what is your favorite Wes Montgomery album...I think a preponderance of cats would say "Smokin at the Half Note."
    If someone started a thread saying, what is your favorite Kenny Burrell album...I think a preponderance of cats would say "Midnight Blue."

    But for Jim Hall, we are all over the map!

    What does it mean if 20 players toss out 20 different album titles as their faves? Gotta show range, doesn't it?

  43. #42

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  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    This is such an interesting thread!

    If someone started a thread saying, what is your favorite Wes Montgomery album...I think a preponderance of cats would say "Smokin at the Half Note."
    If someone started a thread saying, what is your favorite Kenny Burrell album...I think a preponderance of cats would say "Midnight Blue."

    But for Jim Hall, we are all over the map!

    What does it mean if 20 players toss out 20 different album titles as their faves? Gotta show range, doesn't it?
    I believe there was such a thread; (at least I remember answering a question like: what Wes album is your favorite or listen to the most).

    I recall the top selections were The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (my choice), and Smoking at the Half Note (a close second for me).

    For Kenny Burrell: I really don't have one since his career was so long; sadly Wes's died "young" and thus didn't make recordings over multiple decades. So for me that generally makes it harder. Unless someone has an THIS-IS-IT decade, like Tal Farlow which was clearly the 50s.

  45. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by smallie_stalker
    This one is my favorite too although I was never fortunate enough to meet him to sign it.

    Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk
    This has a transcription of Scrapple From The Apple that really helped me if I remember correctly. I miss large album covers!

  46. #45

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    "The Bridge". For me, none of his other work even comes close.

    If I had to pick a second it would be "Interaction" with the Art Farmer Quartet.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I like the one with the artist.
    The contrast between smilin' Jim and the post-apocalyptic death rock figure the artist is painting behind him always jars me! Maybe its commentary on the age of anxiety and what was lurking underneath '50s conformity.

    If this album had led to Jim's career as a solo artist taking off, we might not have had some of those 60s sessions like with Rollins, Desmond and Farmer, so I guess there's a silver lining to his first record fizzling out.

    Jim was like a guy waiting for the 60s to happen for a number of reasons. His session work with those bandleaders put him into the thick of the top rank of players, and he was absorbing the changes in the air from Bill Evans' trio and other stuff...then at the very end of the 60s, he leaves his TV show job and cranks up his solo career for real. His version of "Careful" on the 1968 Berlin Festival Guitar Workshop album is like a little preview of his trio work for the next two decades.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard
    The contrast between smilin' Jim and the post-apocalyptic death rock figure the artist is painting behind him always jars me! Maybe its commentary on the age of anxiety and what was lurking underneath '50s conformity.

    If this album had led to Jim's career as a solo artist taking off, we might not have had some of those 60s sessions like with Rollins, Desmond and Farmer, so I guess there's a silver lining to his first record fizzling out.

    Jim was like a guy waiting for the 60s to happen for a number of reasons. His session work with those bandleaders put him into the thick of the top rank of players, and he was absorbing the changes in the air from Bill Evans' trio and other stuff...then at the very end of the 60s, he leaves his TV show job and cranks up his solo career for real. His version of "Careful" on the 1968 Berlin Festival Guitar Workshop album is like a little preview of his trio work for the next two decades.
    I think your point is a great one, that in Jim Hall's playing you can hear a guy completely comfortable in the 50s, but ready to thrive in the 60s.

  49. #48

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    "the post-apocalyptic death rock figure the artist is painting"...

    haha

    the painter on the cover of jim halls-jazz guitar- lp is heralded west coast abstract expressionist -john altoon...these days considered the leader of a group of now internationally famous socal/la artists known as -the cool school




    his 1950 painting-the jazz players




    cheers

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5
    Steve Swallow in his pre-bass guitar days... appears "elegantly wasted" to borrow a phrase.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    "the post-apocalyptic death rock figure the artist is painting"...

    haha

    the painter on the cover of jim halls-jazz guitar- lp is heralded west coast abstract expressionist -john altoon...these days considered the leader of a group of now internationally famous socal/la artists known as -the cool school




    his 1950 painting-the jazz players




    cheers
    I always wondered - where's the painting now?