Jim Hall: A Gentleman of Jazz

Given some free time over the holidays, I have finally gotten around to resurrecting this blog.  My goal was initially to share lots of great recordings I’ve collected and archived through the years, but less than six months after starting the enterprise in late 2011, Megaupload was taken down by the powers to be, and I lost access to any easy way to publically disseminate the recordings I have (without paying a premium).   Meanwhile, on the business end of things, time has moved forward, and the world is more networked digitally than ever, cloud computing is everywhere, the CD is dead and there are lower musical wages across the board; so my artistic, societal, and career concerns are more relevant than ever and could use a fresh examination.   On the positive side of the digital revolution, I am now able again to make some musical offerings, so here we are!


The past year or so marked two very great losses for me in the jazz world, two of my biggest musical heroes, Jim Hall and Charlie Haden.  Both were original voices and gentle souls musically with exquisite beauty and lyricism whose notes will be sorely missed.

I remember meeting Jim Hall in the lobby of a Marriott at the Rochester Jazz Festival a few years back.  Steve Laspina introduced me, and to my dismay, an 80 year old Jim Hall stood up, supporting himself with a cane, offering his other hand to me and introducing himself by name, as if I would not know who he was.  I was flabbergasted, and bid him to sit, telling him that he needed no introduction, and that I was quite musically and artistically indebted to him.  From “These Rooms” with Tom Harrell, the duet albums with Bill Evans, and so much more, I’d have to say he’s on some of my all time favorite albums.   And meeting him in person, you immediately had this sense of him being a “gentleman” in the truest sense of the word.

This past year, I’ve been revisiting all the live concerts I have of his, and thought this would be a great time to share a few.

The first is from a stellar 2005 European trio tour with Geoff Keezer and Scott Colley, great complements to Hall’s poignancy.


The second is a rare duo gem with Bob Brookmeyer, with Red Mitchell joining on two tracks…Stockholm 1982. Check out the beautiful interplay and ears of these guys interpreting standards contrapuntally and more.  This kind of classicism is something I miss in much of today’s straight ahead music scene.  There’s such a sense of space here which allows the music to breathe in chamber like quality, while never sacrificing the rhythmic feel.



About AudibleArchitect

I live a double life as a jazz doublebassist and composer as well as a software developer/data scientist in NYC View all posts by AudibleArchitect

3 responses to “Jim Hall: A Gentleman of Jazz

  • audiblearchitect

    Note to new users: Click on the link and then click “Download entire folder as a .zip file” to download the files. ADrive is free and you don’t need to sign up. Also, I do not post commercial recordings of any kind, these are live recordings or radio broadcasts that are unavailable in any commercial form. I have not transcoded files in any form, so they are in the original format I secured them. So you may find files like .flac and so forth, which are far superior to mp3’s in sound quality and efficiency, but unplayable with ITunes. I use XBMC as my computer music player, which I find to be much more comprehensive and able to play any file format. And finally, I rarely play music off my computer itself to begin with, using a Logitech Squeezebox Touch into my stereo system (subject for another post!), so I am rarely playing anything on my computer. If you need to transcode files into mp4 or whatever for your ipod, I recommend using Audacity, a free shareware program which is great for file conversions. Toast also has those capabilities and is more comprehensive for anyone looking for more features.

  • audiblearchitect

    another alternative for files is VLC Player http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

    fyi, XBMC has become Kodi, I’m downloading now to try the latest version


  • Michel

    About Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer Stockholm 1982-12-19 , the link is dead, any chance for a re-up?

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