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Ron Carter and Jim Hall at Blue Note, a 35th Anniversary Duo Performance
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Ron Carter and Jim Hall at Blue Note, a 35th Anniversary Duo Performance

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Ron Carter
(Ron Carter Website)
Jim Hall on Guitar
(Jim Hall Website)
Blue Note
131 West 3rd Street at Sixth Ave.

General Manager: Tom Bailey
Media Contact: Jonathan Kantor

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 8, 2007

Ron Carter, bassist, and Jim Hall, guitarist, have been playing duos since 1972 at The Playboy Club in New York, when they recorded ďAlone TogetherĒ. Tonightís appearance, the last set of the week at Blue Note, markís the 35th anniversary of this collaboration. Jim Hall has been featured in international jazz events since the late 1950ís. He has composed commissioned works and performed with Sonny Rollins and Art Farmer. Ron Carter has recorded 2,000 albums with masters such as Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, and the Kronos Quartet. From 1963 to 1968, Carter was a member of the Miles Davis Quintet. He has won numerous awards for bass performance. This magazine has reviewed Ron Carterís Nonet.

For tonightís last set, Carter and Hall opened with My Funny Valentine. Jim Hall took an ambling lead, magnetic and magical, creating a quiet, thoughtful mood, a mood that would signify the evening. Ron Carter developed the theme naturally, before Hall played solo once more. Bent Blue followed, atonal and eerie, very midnight, very esoteric. Hall took solos again, and the mental chemistry between these two was palpable. The piece turned upbeat, with a fragmented theme, contemporary and lyrical. A Brazilian work was next, Bejas Flor (Kiss the Flower), about a hummingbird. The music was soft and sultry, lead by Carter, who seemed to prefer tonal fingering to use of the bow. Hall evoked Samba rhythm on guitar chords, before leading the music. A folkloric motif ensued as Hall echoed Carterís theme.

Hall and Carter then presented an improvisation to Peace. This was a socio-political jazz statement, meaningful and rare. Hall opened with some random whispering notes, emotionally infused. The entire peace was an introspective conversation, as if we were listening in on Carter and Hallís plea for Peace. The next work, Birdwalk, generated two interchanging themes, played simultaneously with seamless, rambunctious rhythms. Soulful fusion ended the music. Body and Soul, a melodic and memorable piece, was velvety and mesmerizing. The final choice, with Baroque ambiance, made the guitar sound like a harp. These serendipitous duo performances should be presented more often. The up-close, uncluttered approach allows for nuance and communal participation.

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