“On his second outing as leader, Austin-based pianist Doug Hall is surrounded by a group of like-minded musicians for a set of his originals based on the Japanese concepts ji ("compassion") and hi ("to give happiness and remove suffering".) Conceptual? Yes. Gimmicky and self-indulgent? No. Adam Kolker's tenor, especially on the modal, "After The Fact," is reminiscent of mid-to-late '60's Coltrane, only gentler. This understated but crisp style is articulated in the playing of Doug Hall and drummer Bruce Hall throughout and by bass clarinet on "Dark Stream," where Kolker produces sounds that are slightly dissonant but not brash. On the title track, John Herbert's bass intro produces tones that evoke the doshpuluur (a two-stringed lute used in traditional Tuvan music from Mongolia). Bruce Hall's breezy drum solo on "Once Around The Block," a brighter up-tempo bop, is unassuming in the same way. The song underscores the group's consistency. Staying true to a sonic approach that flows lyrically like a collective subconscious, the players sound just similar enough, without sounding identical. Perhaps in another edit, the album would end with this track - leaving the listener at song's end, with the sensation of slowly awakening from a pleasant dream.” -– Matt Elweig, JAZZIZ, June 2002

“Pianist Doug Hall's quartet produces 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 thab the specifics of the music. If that is 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

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