NEW YORK

- Jim Hall, one of the leading jazz guitarists of the modern era, whose subtle technique, lyrical sound and introspective approach strongly influenced younger proteges, died early Tuesday at age 83, his wife said.

Hall died in his sleep after a short illness at his apartment in Manhattan, said Jane Hall, who described her husband as "truly beloved by everybody who ever met him."

Hall, who led his own trio since the mid-1960s, remained active until shortly before his death. Last month, his trio performed a concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. He had been planning a duo tour in Japan for next month with bassist Ron Carter, a longtime partner.

In 2004, Hall became the first of the modern jazz guitarists to be named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, the nation's highest jazz honor.

The guitarist was known for his duo and small-group recordings with some of the greatest names in jazz during the past 60 years, including saxophonists Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan, Ornette Coleman and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

"I don't know anybody who didn't love him, including myself. He was the consummate musician and it was a privilege to work with him," Rollins said in an email.