Barrie Lee Hall, Jr. – The Duke Ellington Small Band

Barrie Lee Hall, Jr.
The Duke Ellington Small Band
(Nichelson – 2006)

Life is full of mysteries, of course – some small, some large. At least a small one is why on earth this is Barrie Lee Hall’s first album-as-leader. The aphorism “better late than never” certainly applies in this instance. Sincere thanks to producer (and Barrie’s fellow-Ellingtonian) Shelley Carrol for rendering this particular mystery moot.

Barrie Lee Hall, Jr., was born in Mansfield, Louisiana, on June 30, 1949. He later relocated to Houston, where he attended E. E. Worthing High School. Barrie credits Worthing band director Sammy Harris with first awakening his interest in jazz. He next enrolled in the landmark jazz program at Houston’s Texas Southern University (which spawned The Crusaders, Kirk Whalum, and many others), where he enjoyed the tutelage of T. S. U.’s legendary jazz instructor, the late Lanny Steele. It was during his T. S. U. days that I first discovered Barrie Lee Hall, and I remain an enthusiastic fan to this day …MORE