1/2* Jim Hall, “Youkali,” CTI. The guitarist must have ground his teeth down to the nub while he was making this one. Jim Pugh’s determinedly “contemporary” arrangements and Dave Weckl’s leave-no-space-unpercussed drumming are completely antithetical to Hall’s meticulously precise playing. Add a few tracks in which producer Creed Taylor has managed to tastelessly “sweeten” some pre-existing Chet Baker/Hall tracks, and you have a perfect recipe for musical disaster. Which is exactly what happened.
New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).