Jim Hall & Basses
When a person has been playing and recording music for over 50 years, you might expect the tendency to mellow and repeat past successes to occur. Well, strike one up for the other side with Jim Hall. This man is dangerous. Moving from beautiful flowing single-note runs to odd, discordant figures (“Abstract 1”) or a rare 12-string appearance on “End The Beguine!,” Hall has no problem keeping himself or his listener interested. This is not so much jazz guitar (which of course it is) but more just music. Very modern music, at that. In fact, if this was packaged in a plain sleeve and sent around to fans of post-rock artists such as Cul De Sac or Tortoise, they would hop on the agile, aggressive bass work and fiery guitar and have it sampled in an instant. Hall performs with five of the more highly regarded bassists of today — Scott Colley, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, and George Mraz. Each brings a different sound and a unique touch to the songs, and all interact with Hall seamlessly. This is one of the most rewarding and surprising releases of the year.