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Jimmy Giuffre 3, 1961 Original recording reissued

1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B000025WLT
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Jesus Maria - Jimmy Giuffre
2. Emphasis - Jimmy Giuffre
3. In The Mornings Out There - Jimmy Giuffre
4. Scootin' About - Jimmy Giuffre
5. Cry, Want - Jimmy Giuffre
6. Brief Hesitation - Jimmy Giuffre
7. Venture - Jimmy Giuffre
8. Afternoon - Jimmy Giuffre
9. Trudgin' - Jimmy Giuffre
Disc: 2
1. Ictus - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
2. Carla - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
3. Sonic - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
4. Whirrrr - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
5. That's True, That's True - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
6. Goodbye - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
7. Flight - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
8. The Gamut - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
9. Me Too - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
10. Temporarily - Jimmy 3 Giuffre
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Recorded March and August 1961

Personnel:
Jimmy Giuffre - (clarinet),
Paul Bley - (piano),
Steve Swallow - (double-bass)

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By zd8uFv7 on 31 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
When Jimmy Giuffre broke away from the straight-jacket of white West Coast Jazz in the mid-fifties he went on to produce a series of albums experimenting with drummerless trios. In fact he did a wonderful album just before this series using a quartet of reeds/trumpet/bass/drums where the drums are not used rhythmically at all ("Tangents" - long unavailable except on the Mosaic 6CD set). Giuffre had always felt uncomfortable as a straight jazz improvisor - he needed the space & freedom to explore ideas & sounds as they cropped up in order to express himself fully, & found the thrust of a good rhythm section too restricting - he didn't want to ride the beating drum - his rhythmic sense was more dynamic & extreme. This trio with Bley & Swallow is where he first really comes into his own as composer, improvisor & leader. The two albums on this release ("Fusion" & "Thesis") were the trio's first two recordings done only a few months apart in New York 1961. Also available by this trio are the seminal "Free Fall" (1962) & two wonderful live albums - "Emphasis" & "Flight" - recorded in Germany late 1961 (recently released on HatArt as a double CD). The remit of the trio really was to reinvent music - to take it apart piece by piece & reconstruct it afresh, making each component vibrate with its own independence whilst relating to other components with a new delicate vitality. Each instrument is also treated as a component in this web of interactions - each played with restraint & sensitivity - leaving much space around each other (bringing to mind Cage's aphorism - "love is the space you leave around the loved one") - listening as attentively as creating - creative listening.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Visionary jazz 14 Oct. 2001
By N. Dorward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This reissue doubles up two Verve albums recorded by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio, _Fusion_ & _Thesis_. Both were recorded in 1961, & it's remarkable to think of that year in jazz: consider, for instance, that Eric Dolphy & Booker Little recorded a live date for Prestige at the Five Spot in July of that year; Coltrane played the Vanguard in November, yielding _Live at the Village Vanguard_ & _Impressions_; the Bill Evans trio with La Faro had recorded two albums' worth of material in June for Riverside; Cecil Taylor recorded a large amount for Candid early in the year; Lee Konitz recorded _Motion_; Ornette Coleman had just rounded off his Atlantic output with the magnificent _Ornette!_ & the lesser _Ornette on Tenor_. All of these recordings were to prove influential, some of them (Coltrane and Evans) extremely so; & yet despite the fact that Giuffre's trio hardly met with equal success or acclaim, one might claim these two recordings for Verve as in their way equally influential on the course of jazz. Though Giuffre's trio didn't have much impact in the U.S., it met with a warmer critical reception in Europe, & its example proved highly influential on the development of jazz in Europe, especially in the creation of a free jazz (or free improvisation) that was quiet, reflective, & as considerable remove from the high-volume, "blacker" free jazz associated with the ESP & Impulse labels. ECM's founder Manfred Eicher was a great admirer of Giuffre's work, & it's fitting that three decades later he should reissue these two discs, which still sound quietly visionary.
One characteristic that defines almost all the experimentation in forward-looking jazz of circa 1960 is the desire to replace the conventional idea of the "soloist" with a much greater & more democratic role for "accompanists". Think, in particular, of emphasis on three-way dialogue in Bill Evans' trio; or the development in Coltrane's music of the drummer's role, so that rather than conventional solo-and-accompaniment, Jones & Coltrane engage in furious, combative dialogue; or the nascent "harmolodics" of Coleman's quartet. Giuffre's trio music is very much part of this line of inquiry: both the pianist Paul Bley & the bass player Steve Swallow are forceful personalities, & the music is strikingly nonhierarchical: the divisions between "solo" and "accompaniment" are often blurred.
Of the two albums, I think the second is considerably the more engaging. (As with Bill Evans' trio with La Faro, the music was developing so quickly that each album sounds very different from the last: neither of these albums sound much like _Free Fall_, the 3rd and last disc they recorded [for Columbia].) The first is a touch dry & too unvaryingly slow, mostly developing through a series of carefully paced, almost static harmonies. It's nonetheless worth a close listen. The 2nd album, _Thesis_, is truly a marvel: it opens with Carla Bley's "Ictus", which issues with a clatter from the instruments & then breaks free, into completely open space. One thing I like about this album in particular is the pacing & dynamics: sometimes, for instance, the trio introduces a brief meditative pause before the restatement of the head after the solos. Throughout the album, Bley & Giuffre draw unconventional sounds out of their instruments: Bley works with the interior of the piano, while Giuffre sometimes produces unpitched breath-noises from his clarinet. Swallow (only 20 years old at the time!) is commanding throughout both albums, & he's sometimes the "lead" voice--for instance, he's given the statement of the melody on "Goodbye" (the one standard performed here: listeners should check out Bley's recent disc _Not Two, Not One_, which has a themeless improvisation which sounds to me like it's based on this tune). Swallow often gives the music a strong push & an air of tension exactly when one expects it to become reflective: check out, for instance, his work on "Afternoon".
This is music that still sounds sui generis. It's not music that grabs the listener forcefully: it's altogether more subtle & insidious. The one album of the period it does seem related to, oddly enough, is _Kind of Blue_--there are a few points where Bley's playing suggests "Blue in Green" or "Flamenco Sketches". Like that album, _1961_ is notable as a turn away from the high volume & brash pyrotechnics of contemporary hard bop, to something much more oblique & atmospheric. _1961_ is a much more "difficult" album than Davis's masterpiece, of course, and many jazz fans will find it too unswinging, too mysterious or too far from bop & postbop tenets (though they would be missing the fact that swing & the blues are very much present here, just much more obliquely expressed). But I'd still claim this as one of the essential postwar jazz albums. Essential listening. Fans of this album will also want to listen to the trio's 1962 album _Free Fall_ (which is considerably more difficult music than these two dates, stepping out into complete atonality & freedom). The group also reformed in 1989 & has recorded several new albums. I would also recommend _Time Will Tell_, a disc on ECM featuring Evan Parker, Paul Bley & Barre Phillips performing music that is overtly influenced by Giuffre's work (Phillips was Swallow's replacement in the trio); & Lee Konitz's _Rhapsody_, which has one track, nearly 20 minutes long, which is a themeless improvisation on "All the Things You Are" by Konitz, Giuffre, Bley & Gary Peacock.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Paving the Way 13 Jun. 2003
By Christopher Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The cool movement in jazz is often considered a dead end musically. By the late 50s the Hard Bop movement had become dominant in the jazz world, leaving once central musicians such as Jimmy Giuffre and Gerry Mulligan out of the mainstream. Then the free jazz movement erupted, partly as a reaction to the hard boppers. But Ornette, Coltrane and the like were far removed from the cerebral stylings of the cool musicians, so once again, the spirit of the times seemed against them. As a result, many cool school musicians struggled in the early 60s to find a way to accommodate these new styles, while keeping up their interests. Much of this music is forgotten now, but at least in the case of the Jimmy Giuffre 3, there is much treasure in this work.
Giuffre had been leading a drummerless group since the mid 50s, often featuring Jim Hall on guitar. But in 1961 he formed a new group with Paul Bley on the piano and a 19 year old Steve Swallow on bass. They recorded the two albums on this disc for Verve, the first as Fusion and the second as Thesis. Listening to them in chronological order, you can hear the group getting progressively freer. This is chamber jazz at it's most vital. The first album features tunes by Giuffre and by Bley's then-wife Carla. The sound is a premonition of the ECM style that Manfred Eichter would develop in the 70s...lyrical, gently swinging at times, modal but floating in and out of tonality. The compositions themselves are strong, focusing on unusual harmonies underpinning cleverly concealed traditional song structures. Improvisation is often collective with a gentle trading of lines between Giuffre and Bley. Swallow is an even voice here. Occasionally he walks lines, but more often he improvises subtle counterpoint to the lines of the piano and clarinet. Bley is stunning. He has discovered his trademark spare dissonant harmony, and his lyricism is ecstatic. You can hear that he was an overwhelming influence on many later pianists, Keith Jarrett not the least.
Thesis is an even more far ranging album. Though the recording does have plenty of cerebral "bop" numbers, the entire approach to improvising is even freer than on the earlier disc. In many tunes, particularly the opening Ictus, tonality disappears altogether. Bley and Guiffre experiment on their instruments, coaxing unusual tones out of them. Even the more conventional tunes seem somehow free of preplanning. An ostinato might lead to a dark passage with unusual chords or scales through in. Dissonance is used subtly but effectively. This is not music that makes it's impact through groove or energy. It's pleasures are subtle and you have to listen closely for the rewards. But this is passionate music, passionate in it's understatement. Every note is pregnant with meaning.
This work has nearly been lost. Verve had no compelling reason to re-release it, as it never made a huge impact when first released, at least in the US. However, this was devoured by Europeans, not the least Manfred Eichter. It is much to the ECM guru's credit that he brought this out again. By doing so he acknowledges his tremendous debt to these musicians. If you like your music adventurous but subtle, you should definitely get this album, and the subsequent Guiffre 3 album, Free Fall on Sony. Listened to side by side, these three recording paint a picture of three top musicians in transition to what would be their mature styles.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Delicate filigree creations - sublime & awesome 31 Jan. 2004
By IrishGit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When Jimmy Giuffre broke away from the straight-jacket of white West Coast Jazz in the mid-fifties he went on to produce a series of albums experimenting with drummerless trios. In fact he did a wonderful album just before this series using a quartet of reeds/trumpet/bass/drums where the drums are not used rhythmically at all ("Tangents in Jazz" - long unavailable except on the Mosaic 6CD set). Giuffre had always felt uncomfortable as a straight jazz improvisor - he needed the space & freedom to explore ideas & sounds as they cropped up in order to express himself fully, & found the thrust of a good rhythm section too restricting - he didn't want to ride the beating drum - his rhythmic sense was more dynamic & extreme. This trio with Bley & Swallow is where he first really comes into his own as composer, improvisor & leader. The two albums on this release ("Fusion" & "Thesis") were the trio's first two recordings done only a few months apart in New York 1961. Also available by this trio are the seminal "Free Fall" (1962) & two wonderful live albums - "Emphasis" & "Flight" - recorded in Germany late 1961 (recently released on HatArt as a double CD). The remit of the trio really was to reinvent music - to take it apart piece by piece & reconstruct it afresh, making each component vibrate with its own independence whilst relating to other components with a new delicate vitality. Each instrument is also treated as a component in this web of interactions - each played with restraint & sensitivity - leaving much space around each other (bringing to mind Cage's aphorism - "love is the space you leave around the loved one") - listening as attentively as creating - creative listening. Not only was this group investigating the various components of music but they were also acutely aware & sensitive to the dynamics of creating as a threesome - as a trio - in fact on the later album "Free Fall" there are duets & solo pieces as well - all sounding very different in character. The overall feel of these recordings is of intense & intelligent inquiry - the more intense it gets the quieter it becomes. The music is not really jazz - it's as much influenced by European atonal music - especially that of Berg & Webern - as it is Armstrong or Parker - in fact in the sleeve notes to "Free Fall" Giuffre states "Given: the urge to enter new realms, glimpse other dimensions, reach the absolute. Given: the visions received from thinking on such things as . . . gravity, Monk, electricity, time, space, the microcosmos, leaves, chemistry, power, Gods, white-hot heat, asteroids, love, eternity, Einstein, Rollins, Evans, the heartbeat, pain, Delius, Scherchen, Art, overtones, the prehistoric, La Violette, wife, life, voids, Berg, Bird, the universe . . .". This may sound like pretentious youthful enthusiasm but in fact it is all clearly audible in the music (Giuffre was, after all, a mature 40 years old when he made these albums) - La Violette, by the way, was Giuffre's composition teacher. Whilst "Free Fall" may be this trios best & most intense deconstruction (& final - no one would record them afterwards) - these two albums - "Fusion" & "Thesis" - are the more listenable - softer (they've been given a little ECM reverb unfortunately) - transition recordings that still vibrate strongly with the intelligence, generosity, courage & commitment with which they were made. "Free Fall" influenced the whole European free improvisation movement enormously, whereas these recordings influenced the ECM sound just as much (hence Manfred Eicher's insistence to pay homage by releasing them on his label). Given how important this trio was & is, then surely it's time we had everything they ever recorded available to us - even fluffed takes. In short this trio is, along with Evans/LaFaro/Motian, the best in jazz, & this album set is their most attractive recording - sublime & awesome.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Thanks, Mr. Giuffre! 10 July 2006
By Andy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I see there are plenty of reviews here to give you all the back story you could want on this set. So I'll just say: this stuff makes me supremely grateful. In a world of the obvious, the sensational, quick-edit, check-this-out!, yelping for attention, here is an artist who never condescends, and never pontificates, and always rewards curiosity with beauty and interest. Generosity of space and of quiet, and a palpable love of sound for its own sake run through all Giuffre's work, and nowhere more than here. A reaffirming record of the first order.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Singular Music of the Giuffre Trio 3 Aug. 2005
By David C. Rive Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The cool, abstract and--at times--atonal music produced by Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley and Steve Swallow deserves more recognition. This release (ECM's first reissue)features two of the short-lived trio's Verve albums of the eponymous year, and contains what is argurably their most convincing musical statement on ensemble improvisation.

The trio enjoyed a musical rapport that verged on telepathy; this is ensemble playing at its most inventive and cohesive.

The percusive "thwak" of Swallow's double-bass, Bley's unfettered explorations of the sonic possibilities of the piano (he'll sometimes pluck the piano strings instead of striking the keys) and Giuffre's alternately folksy/"out there" clarinet playing combine for a sound unlike any other in jazz.

This is music of pronounced form and intruiging textures, and as such, is essential listening for any jazz lover.
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