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MP3 Doug Hall - Jihi

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Pianist Doug Hall gives a lush, fluid, and profoundly detailed approach to his beautiful and subtle dynamic compositions. He is gentle yet deliberate on fairly complex harmonic schemes. Uncanny lyricism and grace.

8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Bebop, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo

Born into a musical family in Dallas, Texas, Doug Hall began studying piano at age six and made his orchestral debut performing the Mozart A-Major K 414 Piano Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at age nine. At the age of twelve, he became interested in jazz, and for the next several years competed in classical piano competitions and performed with orchestras, including another performance with the Dallas Symphony at age fifteen, and at the same time writing compositions for his high-school jazz ensemble. After graduating early, he was awarded a Memorial Composition Scholarship from North Texas State University and entered college at age sixteen. Doug Hall has played with Dave Liebman, James Moody, Victor Wooten, Joe Farrell, Lee Konitz, Chet Baker and Bill Waltrous. He has recorded on Bob Beldon Ensembleâs âMusic of Stingâ for Blue Note, while his debut CD âThree Wishesâ featuring Marc Johnson (bass) and Bruce Hall (drums) received positive feedback and critical acclaim.

While citing Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, and McCoy Tyner as early influences, Doug has found his own sound and style. With the February 2002 release of âJihiâ Doug Hall charted in the Top 10 of the Yellowdog Jazz Report radio charts and is particularly respected in the Austin music community, having been referred to in the press as "Austin's most diverse keyboard virtuoso.â

Pianist Doug Hall gives a lush, fluid, and profoundly detailed approach to his beautiful and dynamic compositions. As conveyed through the brightness and exquisiteness of his notes, you sense inner joy channeling through him. Featuring some of New York cities finest John Hebert (Andrew Hill,Kenny Werner) on bass, Bruce Hall (Bob Belden) on drums and Adam Kolker (Ray Barretto Band) on saxophones, âJihiâ was recordedat The Studio in New York City and engineered by the talented Jim Anderson.

The compositions on Jihi range from ballads such as âUnder the Rainbowâ and âBe From You,â showcasing Doug's beautifully developed harmonies, to high energy and steady tension-driven themes such as â Darkstream,â displaying a free-flowing urban feel while still swinging throughout. â After the Factâ demonstrates Doug's ability to completely change tactility throughout the song while keeping it seamlessly together. This music is resplendent ensemble playing with sensitive yet commanding voices on each instrument.

Jihi (je-he ) in Japanese Buddhist texts means compassion. Ji, meaning âto give happinessâ and hi, âto remove suffering.â Removing suffering and giving joy in it's simplest terms is the spirit of Doug Hall's âJihi.â The healing qualities of music itself are universal, and Doug Hall's ability to draw from this quality with a floret of harmonious melodies is sublime.

âAustin-based pianist Doug Hall's "Jihi" goes down like a good cup of coffee: With every sip, it simultaneously soothes the soul and excites the mind. This quartet's dense brew steams moderately; it never scalds or goes cold. Even when the caffeine kicks in to fuel the double-time sections of "Dark Stream" and "After The Fact," the music maintains its gentle, deliberate composure. With the exception of the pop-flavored "Side Trip," the eight original compositions on "Jihi" follow fairly complex harmonic schemes. This is advanced material, modern right down to the dregs but never bitter in its loftiness. Showing utter restraint in execution, the quartet lifts the listener into this higher realm, which proves to be quite a joyful place. Hall solos with extreme chops on the uptempo numbers. He explores the harmony exhaustively and extrapolates the changes whenever it suits him. His use of dynamics is effectively subtle; he doesn't need to pound the keys to catch your ear. On the ballad "Under The Rainbow," Hall drifts cloud-like from one reflection to the next, applying tastefully muted colors to each scene of his Oz-derived dream. Hall-sympathizer Adam Kolker obviously shares his bandleader's vision on "Jihi," named after a Japanese word for compassion. Kolker plays tenor sax, soprano sax and bass clarinet with strength and control; he provides the perfect voice for Hall's postmodern melodies and solos with refreshing fluidness. Bassist John Hebert and drummer Bruce Hall demonstrate both empathy and telepathy from start to end. You can safely say that there's no Foger's in Hall's cup-â this is the good stuff. **** (four stars)â -â Ed Enright, DownBeat Magazine

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