I am pleased to offer you an obituary prepared by Louisville’s own Jeff Sherman, which he graciously prepared for use in my column.
Jazz guitarist Jim Hall died December 10th at the age of 83. Guitar Player magazine once described Jim as one of the most important guitarists of the last 25 years. Jim’s self-deprecating sense of humor was evident when critics would describe his style as sparse and Jim would explain that meant he didn’t have any chops. Jim once said that if anyone wants to play fast, he goes home. Yet, he always had enough technique to take jazz to the high art form that it is by responding immediately to the other players in the band. Jim told me that he and Bill Evans had only played briefly once before they recorded the important and intuitive album “Undercurrent”.
Jim, like many of his colleagues of the 1950’s, was a word guy. He loved language and enjoyed playing Scrabble with his wife Jane. Jim’s solos often sound like someone working his way through a Scrabble board, building on what is there and finishing the game with a new sonic structure. Jim will be missed but aren’t we glad that he left us this timeless music and his positive life force described in a song that he liked to play, “The Answer Is Yes”.——- Jeff Sherman
Time and space do not allow for more than passing mention of the following artists who recently left us: Chico Hamilton, drummer (1921-2013); mullti-horn player Yusef Lateef,(1920-2013); trumpeter Al Porcino (1925-2013); bassist Dwayne Burno (1970-2013); pianist Jimmy Amadie (1937-2013); Ron (Rahn) Burton, a Louisville native perhaps best known for his many years playing piano with Rahsaan Roland Kirk; drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson: 1940-2013; and more. JazzTimes’ Jeff Tamarkin has a far more extensive list at http://jazztimes.com/articles/116056-remembering-those-who-left-us-in-2013.0/