Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall had a career that spanned more than five decades. In a session recorded in 2003, the NEA Jazz Master teamed up with host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for "Blue Monk," and performed solo in "All the Things You Are."
Hall was born in 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio. He got his first guitar at age 9, and was gigging professionally by the time he was a teenager. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1955 and moved to Los Angeles, where he studied with classical guitarist Vincente Gomez.
In 1965, Hall retired from music to fight a personal battle against alcoholism. He returned to professional work shortly thereafter, working in the house band on The Merv Griffin Show. By 1966, he had quit the show and was again working as a full-time jazz musician.