Jim Hall

It's Nice to Be with You: Jim Hall in Berlin

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It's Nice to Be with You: Jim Hall in Berlin Review

by Ken Dryden

Jim Hall recorded this trio session with expatriate bassist Jimmy Woode and one of Europe's top drummers, Daniel Humair, during a 1969 visit to Berlin. At first "Up, Up and Away," a Jimmy Webb composition that turned into a huge hit for the pop group the Fifth Dimension, might seem like an unlikely jazz vehicle, but it soars to new heights with the trio's inventive approach. Familiar standards include a snappy "My Funny Valentine" and an intensely lyrical "Body and Soul.' Producer Joachim Berendt's suggestion to Hall that he duet with himself via overdubbing resulted in "Young One, For Debra," a warm ballad tribute to Hall's daughter, and a breath taking rendition of "In a Sentimental Mood." He also revisits his "Romaine," utilizing a bossa nova setting (recorded previously with pianist Bill Evans on their classic duo date Undercurrent) and explores his wife's upbeat composition "It's Nice to Be with You" (a work that should have lyrics if it doesn't already). Only briefly available as a CD reissue of the earlier LP, this collectible release is well worth acquiring.

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