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…
The third live CD featuring bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Jim Hall in a duo setting is yet another gem. This 1984 concert, taped at the Concord Jazz Festival, kicks off with Carter's lively blues "Telephone," which gives the pair an opportunity to tightrope walk in unison on the song's tricky theme as well as show off their individual chops as soloists. Hall's "Chorale and Dance" is a two- part composition that begins in a very formal, semi-classical vein before segueing into a Latin setting. They tackle the standard "Alone Together" at a faster clip than their first release together, yet maintain its intimacy…
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".
This recorded, intimate document was recorded at Jazz Beat during the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1990 and sees its first official release on this Impulse! volume. Bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Jim Hall played a number of duet concerts together over the years, but this was certainly among the very earliest. Given their respective careers up to this point, both men had nearly perfected the artistry of playing in this particular chamber jazz setting. That all said, it does not prepare the listener for the canny, intimate, yet absolutely electric interplay on offer here.
This lyrical, introverted, and sometimes exquisite set of duets by guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Red Mitchell was originally made for John Snyder's Artist House label and later reissued on CD by MHS. Hall and Mitchell always had big ears, and although the music is at a low volume and the duo stretches out on a bit on their four originals, the Mexican folk song "Blue Dove" and "Fly Me to the Moon," there are no sleepy moments.
Jimmy Giuffre may not have gotten his due with American audiences outside very specific kinds of jazz circles, but he was loved and respected by other musicians and the audiences of Europe and Asia. His reputation among those groups of listeners and players is well deserved for the radical, if quiet and unassuming path he walked throughout his seven-decade career. These sides, recorded between 1956 and 1959 with guitarist Jim Hall, his most symbiotic collaborator and foil, are at the heart of his reputation as a pioneer – even more so than his killer early-'60s sides (à la Free Fall) with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow.
THE COMPLETE RCA VICTOR RECORDINGS includes the five solo albums Desmond released on RCA's Bluebird imprint in the early 1960s: DESMOND BLUE, TAKE TEN, GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY, BOSSA ANTIGUA and EASY LIVING. Between 1962 and 1964 Paul Desmond , Dave Brubeck's alto saxophonist (and composer of "Take Five"), recorded five remarkable albums for RCA with guitarist Jim Hall. (Listeners might recall that the inimitable Hall also recorded with Sonny Rollins for RCA during the same period.) Luckily, RCA has seen fit to reissue the Desmond-Hall sessions in an attractive 5-CD box. Of these, only the first session, DESMOND BLUE, was arranged for strings. Otherwise it's just Desmond and Hall, a few good bass players and the great MJQ drummer Connie Kay, whom Desmond long revered for his subtle touch.