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Listen to "The Checkout" on WBGO
Full interview with Hal Crook!

The Checkout WBGO

Also, see the Hal Crook Set Me Free concert video.

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FROM THE MASTERS 

"Hal Crook is one of the hidden treasures of our generation. No one that I have heard in the past 20 years comes close to his instrumental skills (seemingly effortless), his musicality, his swing and his grasp of the language of music and its possibilities for growth and expansion. Those lucky enough to have heard him play find him to be an innovative and technically amazing trombone player.  Believe me, we have played together and he is too good for us mere mortals. The best, in short."  Bob Brookmeyer


"Hal, I only have a few idols and you are all of them!"  George Garzone


"Hal Crook is a very special musician. He is one of the few musicians I know who falls into the category of full-fledged jazz music master. He walks as good as he talks. Better, in fact. His music clearly demonstrates all the excellent material in his numerous educational books on jazz. I'm a huge fan!"  Mick Goodrick


"Hal shows his ability to use an imposing array of improvisational techniques to extend the boundaries of conventional jazz harmony. His ability as an improviser is on a par with Phil's (Woods) with respect to wealth of invention, grace and speed." Chuck Israels

"Hal, your music is great! I'm your biggest fan. I love you big time. Let's play!"  Joe Diorio

FROM FORMER STUDENTS

"I think it's fair to say that my development as a musician would have been completely different if Hal Crook hadn't been part of the equation. The level that he operates at as a musician and as a professor made me expand my musical confines in ways I didn't know were possible. I never saw improvisation the same way after being part of his classes and ensembles. I'm honored to count myself as one of the lucky ones that got to learn from Hal." Antonio Sanchez

"Hal is a living example of the quintessential no-nonsense, bad mofo. That seems to be the rarest breed of human on the planet these days. He'll play you under the table (on trombone! can you believe it?) and then tell you exactly where you're weak and/or why you're stuck in your development as a player. And, he'll tell you straight up so you know exactly what to go home and work on. In fact, I think I'll finally go start shedding the stuff he told me to work on, cause I have to play this "All-Hail the Great Hal Crook" concert in a few weeks and I don't want to sound like an ass."  Esperanza Spalding 

"Hal is a warrior. His focus, courage and humanity can be models for all of us to aspire to. He keeps reaching, searching and breaking through barriers and in doing so, gives us a new idea of what is possible. He has attained that rare level where it is no longer about like or dislike, wrong or right, chicken or pasta. But rather, merging with the patterns, fabric and flux of nature. As a player and guide, Hal shares a fire that ignites us and helps us carry our own light."  Chris Cheek

"Hal is not only an excellent performer but also an amazing teacher. He's fearless. And when he plays, he always makes you work on your weakness. He's one of my heroes."  Lionel Loueke

"Hal Crook is the chief of improvisation!" Frank Mobus

"Hal Crook is God."  Leo Genovese

"Leo Genovese is Hal Crook."  God

"Gen orookis halleo dog."  Cvese

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