A trio album that displays guitarist Jim Hall's absolute refusal to grow old, Something Special is a treat to listen to. Accompanied by pianist/organist Larry Goldings, who sticks to piano for the recording, and bassist Steve LaSpina, the music on Something Special is often introspective, sometimes jovial, but always adventurous. A few of the album's best moments are the ones in which the trio is pared down. "Deep in a Dream," tperformed as a solo piece by Hall, is soft and lush. Goldings' "Up for Air" is played as a duet by the pianist and guitarist, and their treatment of it is light and energetic, taking advantage of the absence of a bass, rather than trying to compensate for it. Pat Metheny, a longtime public admirer of Hall, gets a return nod of admiration on Hall's "Down from Antigua," which sounds very much in the Metheny tradition of writing. On "Steps," the trio delves into some fairly gentle "free" playing. An essential purchase for Hall fans.
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AllMusic Review by Dan Cross