Happy birthday Jim Hall!


Jim Hall (born December 4, 1930) is an American jazz musician. He is known as a master arranger and improviser. He got his start among the greats of cool jazz in the mid-1950s.


Hall was born Buffalo, New York. His family later moved to Ohio. His whole family was musical; his mother played piano, his grandfather violin, and his uncle guitar. He played the guitar and the double bass growing up.

After studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he moved to Los Angeles just as cool jazz was taking off. He taught at Lenox School of Jazz in 1959 and toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic. He also worked with some of the most prominent artists of the time, including Ben Webster (1959), Bill Evans (1959), Paul Desmond (1959–65), Ella Fitzgerald in Europe (1960), Lee Konitz (1960–61), Sonny Rollins (1961-2, 1964), and Art Farmer (1962-1964). (Image source)

All this development culminated in his own trio with Tommy Flanagan and Ron Carter. By 1962, the trio was living and playing regularly around New York City. In 1965, they added Red Mitchell.

At one point, he played alongside Bill Berry, Bob Brookmeyer, Benny Powell, Art Davis and Jake Hanna in the house band for The Merv Griffin Show.

Hall was known for his complex arrangements and improvisations.


Hall continued to act as bandleader and arranger during the 1970s and 1980s.


He worked with Don Thompson, Terry Clarke, George Shearing, Itzhak Perlman, Billy Stewart, Andy Watson, Steve LaSpina, Scott Colley, Gil Goldstein, and many others over the years. 

In 1997, he received the New York Jazz Critics Award for Best Jazz Composer/Arranger. (Image source)

In 2004, he was awarded a NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship.

Hall continues to perform, often at the Blue Note in New York and at various Jazz Festivals.


Selected works:

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Thursday, 04 December 2014
Read 57672 times