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Jim Hall & Joey Baron: Conversations

Conversations is a trifle. Legendary guitarist Jim Hall and brilliant drummer Joey Baron create a low-key, experimental affair, more concerned with subtlety and texture than melody or harmony.

It’s not only the ensemble and ambitions that are small-scale. Nine of the 15 tracks are less than three minutes long, and only two-the standards “Bags’ Groove” and “St. Thomas,” both played with folksy relish-break four minutes. The seven shorter ones are little more than wisps of string-percussion interplay that barely move, if at all. “In Repose” places gentle waves of guitar chords over gentle waves of mallet-struck cymbals, ending just where it began. Then there’s “Uncle Ed,” a lively, 47-second hoedown that in context is simply bizarre.

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