Born December 4th 1930, Jim Hall is known for his impeccable phrasing and deep harmonic sensibilities. Regardless of tempo, his melodic lines always demonstrate economy and remarkable restraint, so much so that one jazz critic even described Hall's playing as akin to 'walking on eggshells'.
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Hall ventured to Los Angeles in 1955 where he landed his first major gig, replacing Howard Roberts (and inheriting Roberts' Gibson ES175) in Chico Hamilton's band. Stints with clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre, saxophonist Ben Webster and jazz diva Ella Fitzgerald soon followed. In 1959, Hall recorded Undercurrent with jazz piano genius Bill Evans, the first of two such piano and guitar only recordings.
Moving to New York in 1960, Hall joined saxophonist Sonny Rollins' group and eventually trumpetist Art Farmer's quartet, seen here in this video.
Jim Hall has been a major influence on countless jazz guitarists including Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern and Bill Frissell. In many ways, Hall's stylistic legato approach, wide intervallic jazz lines and 'outside' harmonic ideas have contributed greatly to the development of the vocabulary that is so much a part of post-bop modern jazz guitar.
Happy belated Birthday Jim!
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