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Hall, Edmond

Biography

Edmond Hall (May 15, 1901 - February 11, 1967) was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader.Over his long career Hall worked extensively with many top performers as both a sideman and bandleader, and is perhaps best known for the 1941 chamber jazz song "Profoundly Blue" which is regarded as a classic of pre-WWII jazz. Born in Reserve, Louisiana, about 40 miles (64 km) west of New Orleans on the Mississippi River, Hall and his siblings were born into a very musical family. His father Edward Blainey Hall and mother Caroline Duhe had eight children, Priscilla (1893), Moretta (1895), Viola (1897), Robert (1899), Edmond (1901), Clarence (1903), Edward (1905) and Herbert (1907). Not only did father Edward play the clarinet in the Onward Brass Band, but on his mother's side there were musicians as well, Jules Duhe played the trombone, Uncle Lawrence Duhe the clarinet and uncle Edmond the guitar. Robert, Edmond and Herbert would all become clarinetists, but before picking up the clarinet Edmond was taught guitar by his uncle Edmond Duhe. When Ed Hall finally picked up the clarinet, "He could play it within a week. He started Monday and played it Saturday." his brother Herb recalls in an interview with Manfred Selchow who wrote the most outstanding Edmond Hall Biography (A Bio-Discographical Scrapbook on Edmond Hall), 640 pages, Profoundly Blue, which provided the material for all the information here. Ed Hall worked as a farm-hand but by 1919 he was tired of it and left for New Orleans, despite his parents' worries of finding a decent job as a musician. The first New Orleans Band he ever played in was that of Bud Rousell (Bud Russell). He also played with Jack Carey (trombone) and blues cornetist Chris Kelley.




Recordings

Hall, Edmond / Sutton, Ralph: At The Club Hangover 1954

In these recordings a then young Jazz giant, Ralph Sutton who in the 1950s was already (in Leonard Feather's words) 'one of the best of the later stride pianists' meets a figure who in any terms was seminal to Jazz's classic era: clarinetist Edmond Hall. Hall was one of the greatest of clarinettists, who possessed every quality required for Jazz immortality; a bitingly original sound, unique creative conception and absolute mastery of his instrument. Furthermore he was filled with the kind of creative drive that carried him on from local gigs in New Orleans to musical equality with master-geniuses of Jazz such as Art Tatum and Louis Armstrong. By the time of these recordings Ralph Sutton was already one of the finest mainstream Jazz pianists. And his work with Hall locks into a unit of tight musical professionalism at its best.