Guitarist Jim Hall gets the late-period Creed Taylor CTI treatment on the generally rewarding Youkali set. Extensive overdubbing was used so Chet Baker (who died in 1988) magically appears on three of the six selections. Also teamed with Hall on some numbers are Grover Washington, Jr. (on soprano and tenor), Donald Harrison on soprano, the wordless vocals of Carmen Cuesta (on “Youkali”), a brass section, and various other instruments arranged by Jim Pugh and Don Sebesky. Through it all, Hall plays quite tastefully as usual. The six songs (“Youkali” is a lesser-known Kurt Weill tune and Hall composed the moody “All Across the City”) are superior, the arrangements work well, and the guitarist makes all of this work quite worthwhile. – Scott Yanowmore »
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