Subtle, understated, cool. Jazz guitar legend Jim Hall was all of these - and more. A graduate of Cleveland Institute of Music, where he majored in music theory and pursued classical composition, he first gained national attention through his work with the Chico Hamilton Quintet in the '50s. He was also well-known for his contributions to the music of Paul Desmond, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Bill Evans.
His landmark album Alone Together, recorded live in 1972 with bassist Ron Carter, is required listening for any jazz guitarist, as are more recent efforts like 1999's Jim Hall and Pat Metheny and 2004's Down Beat Critics' Choice. Even though he was revered as one of the jazz world's favorite guitarists, he also earned critical acclaim for his skills as a composer and arranger, having won the New York Jazz Critics Circle Award for Best Jazz Composer/Arranger, in 1997. Hall passed away in 2013.