CD Down Beat Critics' Choice (CD 634257),
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Down Beat Critics' Choice

  • 1. Dream Steps - (featuring Tom Harrell)
    2. Stern Stuff - (featuring Mike Stern)
    3. Snowbound - (featuring Gil Goldstein)
    4. Fanfare
    5. Quadrologue
    6. Circus Dance
    7. Pan-O-Rama - (featuring Geoff Keezer)
    8. Furnished Flats - (featuring Greg Osby)
    9. October Song - (featuring Louise Schulman)
    10. Wind, The - (featuring New York Voices/Greg Osby)
    11. Abstract 3 - (featuring Scott Colley/George Mraz)
    12. Tango Loco - (featuring Scott Colley/George Mraz)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 83557

  • Credits
    EngineerJack Renner; Michael Bishop

    Personnel includes: Jim Hall (acoustic & electric guitars); New York Voices (vocals); Greg Osby (alto saxophone); Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Gil Goldstein (accordion, bass accordion); Louise Schulman (viola); Geoff Keezer (piano); Mike Stern (guitar); Scott Colley, George Mraz (bass); Andy Watson, Terry Clarke (drums).
    Producers: John Snyder, Jane Hall, Gil Goldstein.
    Compilation producers: Jim Hall, Jane Hall.
    Recorded in New York, New York between 1995 & 2001.
    Personnel: Jim Hall (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mike Stern, Bill Frisell (guitar); Pat Metheny (acoustic guitar); Louise Schulman (viola, strings); Maureen Gallagher, Stephanie Fricker, Ann Roggen, Ronald Carbone (viola); Myron Lutzke, Maxine Neuman, Richard Sher, Rozlyne Clarke, Richard Locker, Eugene J. Moye (cello); Marcus Rojas (strings, tuba); Derek DiCenzo (strings, steel drum); Gil Goldstein (accordion); Joe Lovano (clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Greg Osby (alto saxophone); Lew Soloff, Ryan Kisor, Jamie Finegan (trumpet); Claudio Roditi, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Alex Brofsky (French horn); Conrad Herwig, Jim Pugh , Slide Hampton (trombone); Geoff Keezer, Kenny Barron (piano); Terry Clarke , Andy Watson (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Michael Bishop .
    Liner Note Authors: Jim Macnie; Frank John Hadley; John Corbett .
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (02/03/1995-01/08/2001); Clinton Recording Studio, New York, NY (02/03/1995-01/08/2001); New York, NY (02/03/1995-01/08/2001); Power Station, New York, NY (02/03/1995-01/08/2001).
    Arranger: Jim Hall.
    One of the many great things about guitarist Jim Hall is his unparalleled ability to excel in both a straight-ahead jazz context and in a variety of more experimental modes, from harmonically challenging avant-garde jazz to playful adaptations of Caribbean themes and innovative instrumental settings (such as the trio improvisation with bassist Scott Colley and George Mraz featured on this album). Hall's guitar sound is famously round, soft, and gentle, and yet his note choices and compositional strategies can be highly difficult. Down Beat Critics' Choice collects 12 tracks from albums Hall recorded for the Telarc label between 1995 and 2001, and includes some of his most exciting and sophisticated work, as well as a clunker or two. Among the former are his exquisite collaboration with guitarist Mike Stern on "Stern Stuff," which Hall composed in Stern's honor and which is based on a Monk-ish, almost atonal theme and yet features some of Hall's most spirited and sweetly swinging solo playing. The calypso-flavored "Pan-O-Rama," which features pianist Geoff Keezer, is another solid winner, as is the melancholy "Snowbound," a duet with accordionist Gil Goldstein. "Circus Dance" is just a bit too literal in its development of the titular theme, and never really gets off the ground. But the high points outnumber the low ones by a huge margin on this very fine collection. ~ Rick Anderson

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