Album Preview: Keith Hall’s “Made in Kalamazoo (Trios & Duos)”
“My first solo album… at age 50!” laughs jazz drummer Keith Hall, who has recorded many albums as a collaborator (notably with Tri-Fi), and is a widely respected professor of jazz drum set at Western Michigan University. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Hall talks about finding inspiration in writing about people and places in the Kalamazoo community, from coffee shops and breweries (“Kzoo Brew”) to friends like former mayor Bobby Hopewell (“Well of Hope”). In addition, says Hall, the album would never have been made without the contributions of his WMU colleague Andrew Rathbun, who co-composed some selections and improvised with Hall for the “Duos” section of the album.
Hall, Rathbun and bassist Robert Hurst III spent two May days in 2019 recording the album at Overneath Creative Collective with engineer Gordon Van Gent. It starts with a drum solo, “Be Curious,” dedicated to his mentor, jazz drummer Billy Hart.