Doug Hall (July 1, 1959 - March 23, 2008) Jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist
Born into a musical family in Dallas, Texas, Doug Hall began studying piano at age six and made his orchestral debut performing the Mozart A-Major K 414 Piano Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at age nine. At the age of twelve, he became interested in jazz, and for the next several years competed in classical piano competitions and performed with orchestras, including another performance with the Dallas Symphony at age fifteen, and at the same time writing compositions for his high-school jazz ensemble. After graduating early, he was awarded a Memorial Composition Scholarship from North Texas State University and entered college at age sixteen. Doug Hall has played with Dave Liebman, James Moody, Victor Wooten, Joe Farrell, Lee Konitz, Chet Baker and Bill Waltrous. He had recorded on Bob Beldon Ensemble’s “Music of Sting” for Blue Note, while his debut CD “Three Wishes” featuring Marc Johnson (bass) and Bruce Hall (drums) received positive feedback and critical acclaim.
While citing Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, and McCoy Tyner as early influences, Doug had found his own sound and style. With the February 2002 release of “Jihi” Doug Hall charted in the Top 10 of the Yellowdog Jazz Report radio charts and was particularly respected in the Austin music community, having been referred to in the press as "Austin's most diverse keyboard virtuoso.”
[Heart Music released Doug Hall’s new CD “Jihi” to national press, college and straight-ahead Jazz radio nationwide. Later in March 2002, “Jihi” was added to 190+ jazz and college radio stations in the United States, climbed and remained at #15 on the Yellow Dog Jazz Radio chart for one month, with 90+ radio stations playing “Jihi” in medium to heavy rotation.]
Pianist Doug Hall gave a lush, fluid, and profoundly detailed approach to his beautiful and dynamic compositions. As conveyed through the brightness and exquisiteness of his notes, you sense inner joy channeling through him. Featuring some of New York City’s finest John Hebert (Andrew Hill, Kenny Werner) on bass, Bruce Hall (Bob Belden) on drums and Adam Kolker (Ray Barretto Band) on saxophones, “Jihi” was recorded at The Studio in New York City and engineered by the talented Jim Anderson.
Jihi (je-he` ) in Japanese Buddhist texts means compassion. Ji, meaning “to give happiness” and hi, “to remove suffering.” Removing suffering and giving joy in it's simplest terms is the spirit of Doug Hall's “Jihi.” The healing qualities of music itself are universal, and Doug Hall's ability to draw from this quality with a floret of harmonious melodies is sublime.
“Pianist Doug Hall's quartet produced attractive music that even at its faster tempos, has a continuity of calm and placidity. Each of the eight tracks on Jihi is well made, well played and pleasant. In that regard, the album succeeds on its own terms; peacefulness and relaxation. When the cd ends, the attentive listener - this one, at least- recalls the feeling and the mood of the album more than the specifics of the music. If that was Hall's goal, he, saxophonist Adam Kolker, bassist John Abert and drummer Bruce Hall achieved it. I would like to have heard more of Kolker's bass clarinet, which on "Dark Stream" has an intriguing adventurousness that seems to urge Hall in the same direction. Maybe it is the other way around. In either case, "Darkstream" is the highlight. "Jihi" and "Under The Rainbow, " an impressionistic reworking of "Over The Rainbow," are close seconds.” -– Doug Ramsey, JazzTimes Magazine
Doug performed regularly in Austin, Texas at both public and private engagements, and provided private lessons for students in the Austin and Wimberley, TX areas.
Douglas Craig Hall July 1, 1959 - March 23, 2008 passed away on Easter Sunday at age 48 after battling brain cancer.
This biography is a courtesy of Heart Music, Inc. at http://heartmusic.com/doug/bio.html
Click below to view Doug's youtube performances: