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Jim Hall. Photograph: Jane Hall.
 


"Jim Hall & Basses"
with Jim Hall with Scott Colley, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, George Mraz. Recorded in New York City, January 7-8, 2001. Telarc 83506, 2001. Get the CD from Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr or Amazon.co.uk.





Jim Hall & Basses
Sheet music by Jim Hall.
CD review by Jean-Michel Reisser "Beethoven". Article added on December 3, 2001
 
Jim Hall is one of the very few musicians whose conception is very personal and versatile too. Whatever he plays and whoever he plays with, he's still at the top of his game and at ease in every context. And this new CD is no exception at all.
 
I just saw Jim Hall on November 1st, 2001 at the Jazz festival "Onze Plus" in Lausanne, Switzerland. He told me something I didn't know: When he was in high school and later in music school, he played the bass because there weren't any bassists. Hall sees the bass as the downward extension of the guitar. He tends to voice his chords according to what he hears the bass playing.
 
We already know that Jim Hall recorded, in the past, some great duos with the bassists Ron Carter and Red Mitchell. He did some wonderful albums with Ray Brown, Carson Smith, Steve Swallow, just to name a few. So this new CD is the logical choice in Jim's mind. 13 songs, including 10 Hall's originals and 3 standards. He plays with five master bassists, each with a different style and spirit, which gives this CD an open-mindedness. With Dave Holland he plays (on an unusual twelve-string guitar) a sophisticated rhythmic concept ("End Of Beguine!"). Holland is very inspired here (as usual I should say). The tribute to the late great "Sam Jones" (composed by Jim) is absolutely magic too.
 
The youngest member of the cast is Christian McBride (who already recorded with Jim on "Grand Slam" album, Telarc 83485). Christian gives Jim some great pulse and swing, a secret he is in possession of: "Bent Blue". With Charlie Haden, they tell very hard stories: how to play them with very few notes but good ones (as Charlie always does) and they really go to heaven with "Don't Explain". What a great moment!
 
Scott Colley, bassist in Hall's working trio, is more into contemporary classical music. We can hear it in "Abstract 4", an excellent complement to Hall's writing and arranging in recent years. The great native Czech George Mraz is heard here in a wonderful and original (as a waltz tempo) version of another long-time favourite of Jim's: "All The Things You Are". Strangely, this is only the second time they play together but it sounds like they have known each other for decades. To conclude this fantastic CD, Mraz and Colley play in duo with Hall (an astonishing composition by him) "Tango Loco". I'm sure that Astor Piazzola would have loved that tune, especially with the 2 bassists playing pizzicato, the bow and little percussions on their instruments.
 
The only bassist who is missing here (and we don't understand why because he's a Telarc recording artist too) is a very old friend of Jim's: Ray Brown. They only did one album together in 1959 with Jimmy Giuffre. It's urgent that they have to do an album together now. Perhaps this will be Jim's next project? "Jim Hall & Basses is another great CD by Jim Hall. A pure joy. Every time we go to Jim's different worlds, he always gives us something deep and warm, exactly the way that he is. - Sheet music by Jim Hall.

Added on January 17, 2014: The jazz guitarist and composer Jim Hall died in New York City on December 10, 2013 (heart failure).

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.