Sunday, November 21, 2010

Memorable Meetings: Jim Hall

I was crossing 5th avenue at 12th street the other day when I noticed an old man walking his dog very slowly, hunched over quite a bit. As I got closer, I noticed that that man was jazz guitar great Jim Hall.

He was stopped for a moment, so I walked over and said hey. We ended up talking for quite a while and were having a nice conversation (he introduced my to his dog, Django), joking around a bit. He asked me if I'd like to see something funny.

We were standing very near to the New School University's Jazz Building and we saw a student with a bass coming towards us.

Jim looked at me and said, "I've had spine troubles recently - people don't really recognize me anymore."

He laughed, went up to the bass player and asked, "Excuse me - Is that a walking bass?"

The kid gave him a dirty look and continued on his way. Jim looked at me and we both started laughing. Through his laughter, he said, "I always do that. I think it's pretty funny. They just think I'm the dirty old man now, haha."

He was such a pleasant guy and it was such a joy to spend a few moments with him, one of my heroes.

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