December 12, 2013

"For someone who has had such an impact on just the aesthetic of improvised music and guitar, as a total guitar hero, there was such a degree of humility..."

"... that — it wasn't that he downplayed what he did — he had this sense that it was part of something way bigger."

Jim Hall died Tuesday at the age of 83.

(Many video clips and quotes at the link.)

ADDED: "He said he would occasionally retune the strings of the guitar randomly, not even necessarily to exact pitches, just to force himself to be creative in a different way, without depending on his usual crutches."


rhhardin said...

Turn the G string down to F# and you have a lute tuning.

I always use it.

Jason said...

A great, great player.

For some reason, when I searched for videos on him last night, google gave me a ton of baldness treatment ads.

Bob R said...

Jim Hall is the opposite of so many artists for of whom you first impression is one of excitement and interest, but the deeper you dig, the less you see. Jim Hall's work can seem no more than smooth and pleasant - unless you take the time to listen carefully. I never listen to Jim Hall on long drives. He can turn into background music if I don't devote the necessary attention.

Bob R said...

The lute tuning sound interesting, but I think I'd be tempted to treat the instrument as two three string guitars on the same neck.

Robert Cook said...

I know Hall's work only through a couple of Jimmy Giuffre Trio cds. I find he tends to fall too much into the background. (I prefer the slightly later Jimmy Giuffre trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow. Great stuff! Under appreciated in its day as "too advance/radical," but quite bracing and beautiful stuff, even today.)

I have a YouTube video playing now of Jim Hall's quartet playing on the Tonight's very nice. I think this limpid style of jazz guitar playing benefits when the guitarist is the leader and frontman, otherwise the other instruments can overpower and overshadow the guitar.