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Friday, December 11, 2009

... further thoughts around Jimmy Giuffre 3 disc...

... the more I listen to this disc, the more I love it... this music, the mood it produces in me, the listener, and in the whole house is superbly enriching and seldom found everywhere...

Seems the air, like a beautiful woman, is wearing a summer dress...

"Afternoon" on "Fusion" - first disc, second side - and the following "Trudging" are my VERY beloved tracks ever: it's geometrical, yet melodic music and these tunes are masterfully composed and played as a perfect filigrane building.

Like Steve Lake quoted in disc liner notes leaflet, as Giuffre himself wrote in his '56 "The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet": "It has been said that when jazz gets soft it looses its gusto and funkiness. It is my feeling that soft jazz can retain the basic flavour and intensity that it has at a louder volume abd at the same time perhaps reveal some new dimensions of feeling that loudness obscures".

Almost a manifesto, the same which formed and hinted a young Manfred Eicher in his bald twenties, as a music lover and a double-bass player.

Something which - possibly - shaped ECM, as well, as he followed and broadened and broadened this trio form to an infinite musical delta of duos, trios and their countless variations in instrumentation and sounds, like a composer with his orchestral palette...

... and always Jimmy Giuffre, taken from original Verve's "Fusion" liner notes: "... searching for a free sense of tonality and form. Often dissonance is thrown against consonance and throughout there is a curious vacillation between "the simple" and "the complex"."

This is the case... the music is - sometimes - a sort of Debussy-like jazz, but a 20 years old, swinging, braveless Steve Swallow brings eliteness down to earth with his... down to earth, yet heavenly deep, young, joyful and wise sounds and growlings and the whole owns a balance, like a wedding, more and better, a perfect menage-a-trois.

Sound-wise... Swallow sings, hums - Jarrett-like - while playing, while Giuffre, in some "Thesis" tunes, "plays cymbals" with his clarinet: masterfully blowing-only in his instrument, without playing any note... surprising, at first listen, yet so appropriate and "organic".

Also, the soundstage is, someway, fluctuating in room space: this is happening as a difference in trio members positioning, different from track to track AND also during the same track.

Would try to better explain this... at better looking to the superb sessions shot, the AKG C-24 isn't centered with musicians at same distance from mike itself: they are spread in a semi-circle - i.e. Jimmy Giuffre is slightly nearer to microphone, a-far stands Paul Bley's piano and with a couple of large baffles, almost centered between the latter two, Steve Swallow's double bass...

It's quite audible the moving, breathing and assuming a different position of clarinet, which blends more or less toward the centerstage.

A very transparent, living recording... a masterpiece!

... and the Music... ahhhhh... the above mentioned "Afternoon" is among the very music I'd wish to be played at my...


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