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Jim Hall Trio/Jimmy Giuffre: Complete Studio Recordings

Album Notes

Jimmy Giuffre may not have gotten his due with American audiences outside very specific kinds of jazz circles, but he was loved and respected by other musicians and the audiences of Europe and Asia. His reputation among those groups of listeners and players is well deserved for the radical, if quiet and unassuming path he walked throughout his seven-decade career. These sides, recorded between 1956 and 1959 with guitarist Jim Hall, his most symbiotic collaborator and foil, are at the heart of his reputation as a pioneer -- even more so than his killer early-'60s sides (à la Free Fall) with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow. This whopping four-disc, 74-rack set on Gambit collects all the trio sides that Hall and Giuffre shared during those years for Atlantic and Capitol. Their collaborators were a stellar lot as well, whether it was Bob Brookmeyer, Ralph Pena, Ray Brown, Red Mitchell, Jim Atlas or Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass, trombone, or trumpet, and piano in some instances (Brookmeyer). Space, harmony, and an inside-out approach to melody were the focuses of these groups at all times. In addition to the studio trio sides there are seven live selections which have never been issued on CD, including a stellar and now legendary performance of "Song of the Wind." The remastering job is wonderful, spacious, warm, and very present. There are also two unaccompanied performances by Giuffre, where he electronically overdubs four sax lines on each tune as a way of looking forward to his own career in the '70s. This is a stellar collection for the hardcore Giuffre fan: to have all this material in one place, beautifully assembled and annotated, is a real treat. ~ Thom Jurek


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