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Artist’s Choice: Nels Cline on Jim Hall

Today’s top jazz performers pick 10 favorite tracks by the players, singers and styles that helped define them.

Jim Hall performing music of Bill Evans

When I was asked to select 10 tracks by a favorite jazz artist, it was pretty easy to pick the great guitarist and improviser nonpareil Jim Hall. What I wasn’t ready for was just how difficult selecting those 10 tracks would be! I surrounded myself with some 30 favorite recordings, mostly with Hall as the leader. Perhaps some readers familiar with my generally very non-Jim Hall guitar playing are wondering why I chose him. Perhaps you are thinking that opposites attract. The reason is because Hall has, since the 1950s, been a paragon of taste, tone, creativity and inventiveness. These qualities have kept Hall’s music pushing forward: never stale, often surprising.

“Secret Love”
Live in Tokyo (A&M/Horizon Japan, 1977)

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