Dana Hall

Into the Light

Origin 82547

...the viscerally exciting, intellectually formidable Chicago drummer powers bands with a remarkable combination of energy and control.
-Chicago Tribune.

"Drummer Dana Hall is a major revelation, a powerhouse..." Portland Phoenix. With pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Rodney Whitaker, Terell Stafford on trumpet, and Tim Warfield, Jr. on saxophones, the Chicago-based drummer hits for the seats on his debut recording as a leader. Performing a set of mostly original material along with several re-arrangements of jazz and popular standards, Hall's fertile and agile drumming propels the group of long-time friends (they've all been, except for Whitaker, members of Stafford's working band for ten years) into a first-rate album of modern mainstream jazz.

Track Listing:

1 I Have a Dream 9:06 (Herbie Hancock)
2 Conversion Song 6:33
3 Orchids 7:57
4 Into the Light 3:24
5 Black Mountain 9:06
6 The Path to Love 7:55
7 Jabali 10:14
8 For Rockelle 8:08 (Rodney Whitaker)
9 Tin Soldier 9:03 (Tim Warfield, Jr.)


DANA HALL - drums & cymbals
TIM WARFIELD, JR. - tenor & soprano saxophones
BRUCE BARTH - piano & fender rhodes
RODNEY WHITAKER - acoustic bass

Production Info:

Produced by Dana Hall
Recorded by Vijay Tellis-Nayak at
Transient Sound Studios, Chicago, IL
on January 25, 2009
Mixed & mastered by Katsuhiko Naito
at Avatar Studios, New York, NY
Photography by Jacob Hand
Liner notes by Bill Milkowski
Cover design by John Bishop

Reviews of Into the Light

Louisville Music News.net (Martin Z. Kasdan Jr)
With a lineup this strong, drummer/composer Hall has made a very impressive debut. This ensemble has been together for some three years, and the empathetic give-and-take provides another example of how musical strength can be nurtured through playing together regularly. All but three of the nine songs are by Hall. The disc's opening number, "I Have ...

All Music Guide (Ken Dryden)
Chicago drummer Dana Hall has had his share of cherry gigs as a sideman in his Windy City home or New York City over the last two decades. This debut CD as a leader shows not only his extreme talent rivaling contemporaries like Brian Blade, Kendrick Scott, Eric Harland, or Jeff Watts, but gives the listener a taste of his past and present influence ...

Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Working out with Terell Stafford's crew in tow, this sounds like a date that would have been right for Maxjazz if it wasn't so left leaning. A well traveled drummer that knows how to give the rest of the crew some, Hall has an affinity for civil rights era jazz but plays it like he's in the present looking forward rather than standing still on the ...

Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)
It isn't often that a recording debut stands as one of the strongest CDs of the year, but that's unmistakably the case with Chicago drummer Dana Hall's newly released "Into the Light" (Origin Records). Hall, who also teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has appeared prolifically on CDs of other artists, but he makes his bol ...

http://idigjazz.blogspot.com/ (Charles Latimer)
Dana, you've logged many man-hours as a sideman, working for jazz greats such as the late tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, vocalist Maria Schneider, and pianist Kenny Barron. With the soon to be released, "Into the Light", your debut album, you'll show a wider audience what you're made of. Your resume' is too enormous too talk about so I'll just co ...

JazzChicago.net (Brad Walseth)
Dana Hall is such a respected musician and educator on the Chicago (and NYC) scene that it is hard to believe that his debut album has only recently been released by Origin Records. Into the Light presents a mature and thoughtful drummer/composer and his top-notch quintet performing songs that blend great classic sounds from the 1960s with modern ...

Audiophile Audition (Ethan Krow)
Showing off is not always a bad thing, as evidenced by Dana Hall's latest release, Into The Light. On the album, Hall himself will not be contained, moving tempos and rhythms in new directions constantly, and he asks the same of his band mates. Each song takes the group in a new direction, showcasing the versatility of the unit and Hall's own abili ...

Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)
Top 10 Innovative Jazz CDs of 2009 Chicago drummer Hall has recorded prolifically on uncounted recordings, but with "Into the Light" he finally emerges on CD as bandleader. The recording illuminates Hall's expressive breadth as composer and dynamism as leader. Throughout, he inspires top-notch work from trumpeter Terell Stafford, saxophonist Tim W ...

Cincinatti Jazz Scene Examiner (-jh)
After nearly 20-plus years playing as a sideman for musicians like Kenny Barron, Branford Marsalis, and many others, Dana Hall gets his just due with his debut CD, Into The Light, as a bandleader. Debut or not, Hall's professional and masterful approach to the music is without question, and clearly evident with his jaw-dropping, all-star lineup of ...

City Beat (Brian Baker)
Dana Hall isn't merely a Jazz drummer ? he's a magician who elicits the same jaw dropping reaction with a kit and sticks that David Copperfield gets when he makes aircraft carriers or the Statue of Liberty vanish. The gifted rhythmatist started out by earning a degree in aerospace engineering at Iowa State before getting his Bachelor of Music from ...

Downbeat, April 2010 (Aaron Cohen)
When Dana Hall talks about global connections or musical nuances, his words convey a quiet authority. The drummer's background - which embraced equally intense levels of science and technology alongside music and scholarship - has provided him with a unique perspective on those large and small concepts. And Hall's recent CD debut as a quintet leade ...

All About Jazz (John Barron)
Chicago-based drummer Dana Hall makes his debut as a leader with Into the Light, a provocative quintet recording featuring trumpeter Terell Stafford, saxophonist Tim Warfield, Jr., pianist Bruce Barth, and bassist Rodney Whitaker. Herbie Hancock's "I Have a Dream" opens the session with an explosive punch. Hall's uncompromising intensity makes cle ...

NPR Music Reviews (Kevin Whitehead)
Dana Hall doesn't often hog the spotlight on his debut album, Into the Light. He doesn't need to; he plays more stuff behind other musicians than some drummers do in a solo. Hall stays busy back there, exhorting and swinging the band, playing contrary rhythms, shifting his patterns and punctuating everybody else's solos. Here, Herbie Hancock's ...

Cadence (Jim Santella)
Drummer Dana Hall mixes Jazz mainstream material with some heavily progressive textures on this recording debut as leader. As a member of Terell Stafford's quintet, he's familiar with the members of this ensemble; they share a fondness for group-speak, where unison passages fill the bill and individual soloing remains prominent. Hall, who studied a ...

Rifftides (Doug Ramsey)
Dana Hall, Into The Light (Origin). Drummers who flaunt their technique can be enemies of music when their busyness becomes the center-ring distraction in a band. Dana Hall is a busy drummer, but in his case that's a compliment. He accompanies with waves of rhythmic patterns surging and swelling behind, under and around soloists. This 40-year-old C ...

Berman Music Foundation (Tom Ineck)
My introduction to drummer Dana Hall was his March 2009 appearance as guest soloist with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra. The concert's advance publicity touted his degree in aerospace engineering, music composition and music arranging, an impressive resume that left me wondering if he was just another academic who dabbled in jazz. His performance t ...





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