Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jim Hall Begins West Coast Tour

A very nice post by Terry Liberty on the Jimmy Bruno Forum:

I got a chance to see and hear Jim Hall last night at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle.  I had my misgivings about going since the 150 mile drive and late evening are not to be chosen lightly.  I also wondered if Jim would enthrall or disappoint, being 80 years old and all.  Besides, Jazz Alley food is... well... I've had better in U.S. Navy boot camp.  I finally decided to go, due to a two-for-one ticket deal.  Besides, Jim was one of the first Jazz guitarists I really paid attention to, along with Benson and Burrel and I'd finally get to see him in person.  Oh yeah, and thanks to Michael Biller of Sound Island Music who supplied the amps for Jim and the bass player, I had a front-and-center reserved seat (the only one in the house).  How could I lose?

As it turned out, my worries about Jim's chops and his ability to make superb music were completely misplaced. The music was excellent.  Jim's solos and his comping for the group were spare, wonderfully dissonant in a Hall sort of way and in just the right places.  There was no faulting his melodic or harmonic sense or his impeccable time.  Funny thing, I had to keep reminding myself that the reason this guy sounded so much like Jim Hall was because he [b]WAS [/b]Jim Hall.

Jim walks with a cane due to some recent back surgery.  He says the cane is temporary but until he can discard it he won't be doing his Gene Kelly dance routines on stage.  At the end of his concert he introduced the band once again only this time as Gene Krupa, Ornette Coleman, Eugene Wright and he said he was Freddy Green.  Obviously back trouble hasn't dampened a wry sense of humor.

I would love to have taken you all there.  It was an enchanting night and when he did a duo with the bass on My Funny Valentine it was an encore that brought tears.

So glad I went.

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