Pat Metheny on Jim Hall

Now, A Jazz Moment...

Guitar wizard Pat Metheny considers NEA Jazz Master Jim Hall to be one of the icons of his instrument. Pat has spent years analyzing hall's approach to the guitar.

Pat Metheny: There's a couple specific revolutionary aspects of the way that Jim plays and one of them is that he sort of created a way of playing dynamics on the instrument that I think has influenced and affected kind of all of us that have followed him historically which is that he has a way of playing soft, but letting the amp sort of get loud, but keeping his touch very gentle. And what he did in one fell stroke was increase the apparent dynamic range of the electric guitar by about four or five times. Because he could dig in on certain notes and bring out this whole other sort of level that you didn't know was there. And that also resonates with his harmonic wisdom. Which is by just finding a few notes that really suggest a lot, he can imply a lot more. So I think that the whole way that Jim keeps a lot of stuff under the surface that it's always just kind of ready to bubble out and occasionally does, creates this 3-D effect.

MUSIC: "Summertime" CD: Jim Hall and Pat Metheny, Telarc CD-83442 (cut 7)

That's "Summertime"... Pat Metheny and Jim Hall in a highly unusual guitar duet recording. This Jazz Moment on Jim Hall was created by the National Endowment for the Arts. I'm Delfayo Marsalis.

Pat Metheny on Jim Hall