Down Beat - 8/97, p.493.5 stars (out of 5)
- "...TEXTURES...spotlights Hall's compositional talents alongside his wonderful way with a pick....it's bound to suprise some listeners....the most serious music on TEXTURES involves Hall's guitar as much as his pen..."
JazzTimes - 9/97, p.72
"...Writing for ensembles of varying sizes and using a wealth of devices, Hall conjures a spectrum of textures, moods, and atmospheres over the course of seven tracks....TEXTURES reveals important hertofore unrealized facets of one of jazz guitar's most brilliant figures."
Personnel includes: Jim Hall (acoustic & electric guitars); Gil Goldstein (conductor); Joe Lovano (soprano saxophone); Ryan Kysor, Jamie Finegan (trumpet); Claudio Roditi (flugelhorn); Alex Brofsky (French horn); Jim Pugh, Conrad Herwig (trombone); Marcus Rojas (tuba); Louise Schulman (viola); Myron Lutzke (cello); Scott Colley (bass); Terry Clarke (drums); Derek DiCenzo (steel drum); Gordon Gottlieb (timpani, dumbek, triangle, finger cymbal); Kenny Wolleson (wood drum, clay pot, cymbals, tambourine, goat hooves, rattle).
Recorded at Clinton Recording Studio A, New York, New York from September 17-19, 1996. Includes liner notes by Devra Hall.
Now this is really different. Without dropping his electric and acoustic guitars for a minute, Jim Hall reaches back to his early classical studies and joins the Third Stream. The result is an absorbing set of seven Hall compositions that reveal a hitherto unseen, serious, sometimes whimsical side of a musician we all thought we had pegged. A lot of this is rooted in 1950s classical/jazz fusions from Stan Kenton to Gunther Schuller, yet Hall thankfully makes even the most cerebral passages sound attractive, thanks in part to the delicate, still-soft timbres of his electric guitar. Each piece is quite different from that of its neighbor; two ("Fanfare," "Reflections") have surprisingly dense and dissonant writing for a brass septet, another ("Quadrologue") uses pizzicato strings plunking acerbically over a repeated ostinato, still another is an informal "Passacaglia" with isolated interludes for solo classical guitar. The splendidly nostalgic "Sazanami," with steel drum tappings over a Caribbean shaker rhythm, is the closest thing to a strictly jazz-oriented groove on the CD, and a mock "Circus Dance" for oompah-ing brass adds a touch of droll and morose humor at the end of the program. The most original piece is probably "Ragman," with its contemporary string writing, Middle Eastern flavor, and Joe Lovano rattling around the percussive rhythms on soprano sax. Signing with Telarc -- allegedly a safe refuge for aging jazz stars -- seems to have brought out the daring explorer in Hall in this and his previous release, Dialogues. More power to him. ~ Richard S. Ginell