Jim Hall’s Complete Jazz Guitar

May 9, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Although my main preference in jazz guitar is towards energetic and muscular bebop (think Tal Farlow, Hank Garland, George Benson, Pat Martino, and Jimmy Bruno) I have a growing admiration and appreciation for the softer approach of Jim Hall (some may say that I am maturing). Some of his stuff, I just don’t get (such as this project). However, he is no doubt a musician of the very highest caliber. I am listening at the moment to his trio record with Carl Perkins and Red Mitchell (also includes a number of stunningly beautiful takes with John Lewis) from 1957, Complete Jazz Guitar (“Complete” because more tracks are included than in “Jazz Guitar” original)

The record is absolutely outstanding. Although the Hall style is clearly there already at 1957, he sounds at times remarkably like two guitarists that were his friends at the time, namely Tal Farlow and particularly Jimmy Raney. I didn’t know that Hall could play the blues that well. And his sound. The most woody sound in jazz guitar (and more woody than the contemporary Hall sound). Strange to believe that an ES-175 with a P90 can produce this sound, but apparently it can. A great, great CD.

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