Music world has lost one of its greatest talents. Jazz guitarist Jim Hall died in his sleep on Tuesday, December 10, his wife Jane Hall told the Associated Press. The musician suffered from a brief illness prior to his passing at his Greenwich Village apartment in Manhattan.
"Jim was an essentially beautiful human being. I don't know anybody who didn't love him, including myself. He was the consummate musician and it was a privilege to work with him," saxophonist Sonny Rollins said in an email. His widow additionally said that her husband would be "truly beloved by everybody who ever met him."
Hall was born on December 4, 1930 in Buffalo. He started playing guitar at the age of 10. Hall attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and moved to Los Angeles after the graduation. He later became a charter member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet which is one of originators of the laid-back West Coast cool style.
Throughout his career, Hall worked with various performers including pianist Bill Evans, singer Ella Fitzgerald as well as bassist Ron Carter. Hall's playing has become inspiration for the likes of Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and John Scofield who previously worked with him at various times.
Hall's first album as a band leader was released in 1957. The musician kept playing until recently. In summer, he performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island accompanied by guitarist Julian Lage. His last public performance was on November 23 at a "Jazz at Lincoln Center" concert.
In addition to his wife of 48 years, Hall is survived by their daughter Devra Hall Levy. She became Hall's manager in recent years.