“Pianistic brilliance... superlative and exquisitely tasteful throughout.” -– Michael Point, Austin American-Statesman

“Musicianship that is unerringly thoughtful... a set of engaging interplay” -– JazzTimes

“For his second album as a leader, pianist Doug Hall has chosen to construct a program around the concept of JiHi which, in Japanese, means to give happiness and to remove suffering. The development of this theme is the thrust of this album. Hall and his quartet take listeners through the process musically to reach the intended salubrious conscious state. Each Hall-penned song apparently is contrived to represent one more step in the procedure necessary to achieve this condition. The opener, "After the Fact," is a sprightly anticipation of what it is like when JiHi is reached. It features jagged thrusts by Adam Kolker's sax coming in on top of Hall's less-frantic piano, both of which are interrupted occasionally with sharp drum breaks by Bruce Hall. Track two, "Dark Stream," addresses the metaphysical part of the journey with a haunting melody. And so it goes until a blissful "Be From You," the last cut, when the trip is reached and happiness, or the absence of suffering, is achieved. This state of being is enshrined by the serenity of the playing, emphasized by the long, flowing lines coming from Kolker's sax, with a pensive bass interlude by John Hebert. The album is characterized not only by the inventiveness of the musical scheme, but by the interplay between the members of the quartet, which at times becomes so intense that it feels eerie. To get the full benefits of what the players are doing as well as the impact of the music, concentrated listening is required. It's also required to catch and grasp the subtle relationship that is being built among the participants. This is heady stuff and is recommended. -– Dave Nathan, All Music Guide

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