Tuesday, December 10, 2013

RIP Jim Hall (1930-2013)

Just half an hour ago the sad news reached us that Jim Hall has passed away. I will never forgive myself for missing the opportunity to meet this incredibly sharp, charming and exquisite man backstage the Queen Elizabeth Hall during his last performance in London in 2012.

Here is one of my favorite Jim Hall recordings from a Tokyo concert on October 28, 1976 with Don Thompson (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums). Mr. Hall's interpretation of Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker) is first rate.

The first time I heard Jim Hall was on the opening credit of the legendary documentary, Jazz On A Summer's Day. Hall is hardly seen there, but his powerful harmonies is clearly heard under Jimmy Giuffre and Bob Brookmeyer's competing lines. The piece is called The Train and The River and Mr. Hall is the river of that picturesque piece of music. Here they play the same tune on CBS TV:

Bruce Ricker, a great jazz documentary maker who directed films about Kansas City Swing and Dave Brubeck made a film about Jim Hall called A Life In Progress. You can view the film, in its entirety, here:


  1. I haven't visited your excellent blog since this summer, and return today to read the news about Jim Hall, just two days old. He was an especially gifted and eloquent player who could play expansive ideas very concisely. Some of my favorite recordings include him, like 'Interaction' with Art Farmer. Rest in peace Mr. Hall

    1. Thanks for your kind remarks Christopher. Interaction is one of my favorites too, probably next to Undercurrent, recorded with Bill Evans.