3 great CTI records from Jim Hall – including work with Art Farmer
, Chet Baker & Hubert Laws – in a great 2CD set! Concierto is one Hall's most compelling albums from the 70s – a mix of lightly swinging tunes and more complicated numbers, recorded with some of his best partners from earlier years! Chet Baker is on trumpet, Paul Desmond is on alto sax – and the rest of the group includes Ron Carter bass, Roland Hanna piano, and Steve Gadd on drums. The centerpiece of the album is the 19 minute long "Concierto De Aranjuez", and other tracks include "The Answer Is Yes", "Two's Blues" and 5 bonus tracks including "Rock Skippin'", "Unfinished Business" plus a few alternate takes of album tracks. Big Blues is sweet and subtle genius from Art Farmer
and Jim Hall – in a quintet with vibes by Mike Mainieri – in a style that eschews the electric funk of other CTI records, but has a similar sense of space, sound, and rhythm overall – proof that the label's groundbreaking approach didn't always have to be electrified! Tracks are quite long, and the two leaders effortlessly craft notes that magically hang in space with an airily soulful feel. Titles include wonderfully reworked versions of "Whisper Not", "A Child Is Born", and "Pavane For A Dead Princess". Studio Trieste is great later date with Chet Baker & Hubert Laws! The session's a larger group effort headed up by Don Sebesky, and featuring key solos by Chet Baker, Jim Hall, and Hubert Laws – all of whom get plenty of room to do their thing on the album's longer tracks! Other players include Kenny Barron, Jack Wilkins, Jorge Dalto, George Mraz, and Steve Gadd – plus bit of added percussion – and although the group is large, the overall sound is relatively lean – spacious and airy, in keeping with Baker's best moments on records like these, and always sensitive enough to let Hall's gentle work on the strings of his guitar shine through nicely! Titles include "Malaguena", "Django", "Swan Lake", and "All Blues".