Hall Overton was important in many different musical areas (as a teacher, arranger, composer and pianist), but mostly he had an underground reputation in jazz. Overton served in the military from 1942-45, studied at Juilliard from 1947-51 and had lessons with Darius Milhaud. In the 1950s he played jazz with many top improvisers, including Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Raney, Teddy Charles and Mundell Lowe. However, his most famous work was arranging for Thelonious Monk's big band concerts of 1959 and 1963, transcribing Monk's solos and harmonizing them in colorful fashion for the full ensemble. Overton, who was mostly active as a teacher and a classical composer outside of jazz in the 1960s, also occasionally wrote articles for Downbeat. Overton's only recording date resulted in four Music Minus One play-along performances for Savoy in 1955 released in two versions, one with and one without Phil Woods' alto solos.
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