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Remembering Jim Hall

Guitarist Joel Harrison reflects on a true original

Ron Carter and Jim Hall, Jazz for Obama concert, NYC, 10-12
Jim Hall (l.) and Bill Evans

Jim Hall was a composer first, guitar player second. I believe he looked at improvising as composition. Many do, of course, but with Jim it was evident all the time. His playing was thoughtful without being cerebral, organized without being restrictive, melodic and yet elliptical and surprising, sometimes romantic but never sentimental. He had a keen sense of humor in his playing and writing, and in his life.

I love the fact that Jim was one of those people, like Bill Frisell, who you hear and say, “Oh, I can do that.”

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